Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich shakes hands with supporters while standing with his wife Callista Gingrich before speaking at Mutt  Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich shakes hands with supporters while standing with his wife Callista Gingrich before speaking at Mutt's Barbeque in Easley, S.C. Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/The Independent-Mail, Nathan Gray) THE GREENVILLE NEWS OUT, SENECA NEWS OUT   

Exclusive: 100 tea party leaders to announce support for Newt

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Daily Caller has learned that 100 tea party leaders from 25 states will announce Thursday that they are supporting Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and will form a coalition called Tea Partiers With Newt.

The news comes as signs appear that tea partiers here in South Carolina, which holds a primary Saturday, may be coalescing around Gingrich.

“My sense is there is a growing coalition behind Newt Gingrich,” Joe Dugan, who leads the state’s chapter of Tea Party Patriots, told TheDC.

A news release that will go out Thursday from the Gingrich campaign says the coalition will “help elect Newt and defeat Massachusetts Moderate Mitt Romney and then President Barack Obama.”

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