Published: May 02, 2012 8:28 PM EDT
Updated: May 02, 2012 9:06 PM EDT

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Newt Gingrich can now call himself a former presidential candidate.
    
As expected, the former House speaker has bowed out of the Republican presidential contest just short of a year after getting into the race. He did not immediately endorse Mitt Romney, the likely GOP nominee.
    
After losing contests in five states last week, Gingrich said it was clear that Romney would be the nominee and he signaled that his own topsy-turvy campaign had reached its end.
    
Gingrich now has the added challenges of rebuilding his image as a one-man GOP idea machine and paying off at least $4.5 million in campaign debt.
    
Joined by his wife for the announcement in Arlington, Va., Gingrich described the campaign as "an amazing year" for his entire family.

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