Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will hold campaign events in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene on Thursday, Republican party officials confirmed.
A rally is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Bing Theater in downtown Spokane. It’s free, and open to the public, a campaign official said.
He will has a private fundraiser at a Harrison, Idaho, home around 4 p.m., and a town hall meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Inn.
Gingrich is the third GOP presidential hopeful to make a stop in the Inland Northwest. Rick Santorum spoke in Coeur d’Alene last week and Ron Paul held a rally at the Spokane Convention Center on Friday.
Mitt Romney’s son will visit Spokane Valley this afternoon.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Jonathan Parker, Idaho GOP executive director, said. “It’s one of the primary reasons we went to the caucus system, one, to be relevant and actually have a say in who our nominee would be, but No. 2, to bring presidential candidates to Idaho to discuss issues important to Idahoans and to get them here to court our vote.”
Gingrich, despite being from Georgia, has noteworthy ties to Inland Northwest politics. He engineered the 1994 Republican sweep that — among other things — took leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives away from Spokane when Republican George Nethercutt beat sitting House Speaker Tom Foley, a Democrat. Republicans, after capturing control of the House that year, chose Gingrich to replace Foley.
Washington holds its precinct caucuses and straw poll on March 3. Idaho’s caucuses are March 6.