AP sources: Secret Service protection for Gingrich

March 6, 2012 - 10:36 PM
Gingrich 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Huntsville, Ala. Gingrich has won the Georgia Republican primary. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was set to receive Secret Service protection starting Wednesday, two people with knowledge of the security plan confirmed to The Associated Press.

They spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security matters.

The former House speaker is the third GOP hopeful to get a Secret Service detail. Mitt Romney has had Secret Service protection since Feb. 1, and Rick Santorum received Secret Service protection last week.

Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate without a Secret Service detail.

Gingrich requested Secret Service protection last month. He was scheduled to campaign Wednesday in Alabama following his win in neighboring Georgia, Gingrich's home state. Alabama's primary is March 13.

Secret Service protection is given to each major party's presidential nominee but can be provided earlier if the Homeland Security Department approves a campaign's request.

Federal law allows candidates to seek protection if they meet a series of standards, including public prominence as measured by polls and fundraising.