Report from The State Column:

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Thursday that he will announce his decision regarding his candidacy for the upcoming 2012 presidential campaign.

Mr. Gingrich, who is widely expected to run for president in the upcoming presidential election in 2012, has quietly been raising millions in funds, sparking speculation that the Georgia Republican has already decided to enter the race.

Mr. Gingrich set the timetable during an event at the Palm Beach County GOP’s Lincoln Day dinner.

The comment comes as the race for the Republican presidential nomination heats up. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has said he will announce his decision in the upcoming months; Mississippi Republican governor Haley Barbour also noted that he will announce his decision following the current legislative session.

Mr. Gingrich said before the event that Florida could produce a vice presidential candidate on the 2012 GOP ticket, likely pointing to Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who has been touted as a potential running mate.

Gingrich could be the first major name in the poll which would make big waves around the political sphere. This could seriously influence other big names such as Romney or Huckabee as to when they might formally announce as well.