Deerhead Oak rooted deeply in community

Ginny Prevos of McClellanville takes a ride Thursday on the tire swing connected to the Deerhead Oak in McClellanville. In the center of the background is David Stoney, chairman of the tree committee.

Mic Smith

ATLANTA -- Newt Gingrich, the House speaker who led a national GOP resurgence in the 1990s before facing ethics questions and resigning, is running for president.

Gingrich's announcement, made on social networking websites Monday, came after months of public flirting with a bid. He enters a slow-to-form GOP presidential field that has left some Republicans craving more options as they search for a nominee strong enough to credibly challenge President Barack Obama.

The former Georgia congressman, well known to most Republicans, brings to the race a years-in-the-making political machine with ties to early nominating states as well as a network of supporters and donors. But his personal baggage -- he's acknowledged marital infidelity and has had two divorces -- could hinder his chances of winning the party's presidential nomination more than a decade after leaving the House.

He spoke confidently of wide support. "I have been humbled by all the encouragement you have given me to run," Gingrich said in a Facebook posting that urged backers to watch Fox News Channel today. "I will be on to talk about my run for president of the United States."

Announced

Gary Johnson, former New Mexico governor Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House

Exploratory Committee formed

Herman Cain, businessman

Ron Paul, Texas representative

Tim Pawlenty, former Minnesota governor

Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor

Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania U.S. senator

Tentative candidacies

Michele Bachman, U.S. representative, Minnesota

Mitch Daniels, Indiana governor

Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor

Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor

Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor

Donald Trump, real estate magnate