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Santorum to kick off campaign in Pa. coal fields

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WASHINGTON — Former Sen. Rick Santorum plans to kick off his Republican presidential campaign next month in western Pennsylvania coal fields where his immigrant grandfather once worked.

Santorum said today on his Facebook page that he will announce his next steps on June 6. He then scheduled a visit to Iowa and New Hampshire, familiar stops for politicians with White House ambitions.

Advisers say the 53-year-old former senator wanted to use the Pennsylvania location because of its ties to his family, especially his Italian immigrant grandfather who worked in the coal mines. Santorum, whose campaign speeches routinely cite his family’s heritage and embrace of the American dream, was likely to continue those themes when he formalized what observers have anticipated for months.

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