Republican presidential hopeful, Rick Perry has decided to drop out of the White House race and endorse former House speaker Newt Gingrich, US media reports says.
The South Carolina -Texas governor has called for a press conference at 11 am in North Charleston on Thursday to announce the news to his supporters.
Perry’s endorsement is expected to inject fresh momentum into the former House speaker efforts to emerge as the leading alternative to current frontrunner Mitt Romney.
The announcement comes just hours before the candidates will gather for their 16th debate of the Republican race and just two days before the South Carolina primary.
Perry finished in a disappointing fifth place in the Iowa caucuses and has lagged below 10 percent in public opinion polls since the New Hampshire primary, where he finished sixth.
Over the next few months, primaries and caucuses will be held in every US state to vote on the Republican Party competitors for the presidency before a final nominee is elected at the party convention in August.
Perry’s departure narrows the competition to four candidates: Newt Gingrich, former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, former senator Rick Santorum and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
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