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Newt Gingrich to visit Covington Feb. 29
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Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will visit Newton County Feb. 29 as he campaigns in advance of the March 6 GOP presidential primary.

Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker who came to power in Georgia, will speak at a one-hour rally at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Peachtree Academy, 14101 U.S. Highway 278 in Covington.

The rally is open to the public, and Covington will be the only east metro stop on Gingrich's two-day bus tour through the state, said former state Sen. John Douglas, who is working with Gingrich's campaign. The school's gymnasium is expected to hold around 300 people.

"We think we've got a great community and I think he recognizes that and wants to stop and visit with us and talk to us about his campaign positions and work on getting our votes for March 6," Douglas said Thursday when asked why Gingrich chose Covington.

Gingrich held an event in Peachtree City Feb. 17 and Douglas said he spoke for about half an hour and then he and his wife Callista shook hands with as many audience members as possible.

"He likes to work the crowd and shake hands with as many people as he can and hang around and visit for a little while. I expect he'll be on the ground (in Covington) for an hour," Douglas said.

Gingrich is expected to talk in part about the rising cost of gasoline and spending levels in Washington, Douglas said.

"He's been focusing on the high price of gasoline and his plan to cut gas prices to $2.50 a gallon by using domestic resources, because we have enough resources in this country to do that. He believes people should think of Barack Obama every time they fill up their gas tank," Douglas said. "The other issue that is front and center is the amount of spending in Washington and the out-of-control debt."

Gingrich will stop in Dalton, Rome and Carrollton on Tuesday, before visiting the State Capitol in Atlanta and appearing at events in Covington and Gainesville Wednesday.

Gingrich is pinning his hopes for a comeback on the upcoming primaries. His campaign recently announced plans to buy 30-minute blocks of television time in upcoming primary and caucus states for an infomercial on reducing energy prices.

Georgia has the biggest delegate haul at stake in the Super Tuesday primaries with 76 delegates. The pro-Mitt Romney group Restore Our Future is targeting Gingrich in television ads in the state, hoping to deny the former House speaker a sweep of the delegates and leave some on the table for Romney to scoop up.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.