Rick Santorum late Wednesday morning threw his hat in the ring and joined a throng of other White House hopefuls in their quest to become the Republican presidential nominee. While Santorum's official announcement was planned for later that afternoon, ABC News commentator George Stephanopoulos tweeted that the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania said he was in the race.

Campaign spokesperson Matt Beynon has confirmed to International Business Times that Santorum will announce later Wednesday that he's running for president.
 
Santorum, who served from 1995 to 2007, was set to announce his candidacy in Butler County, Pennsylvania, near the home where he grew up. Santorum, 57, previously ran for president in 2012 before bowing out of the race to eventual party nominee Mitt Romney, who lost the general election to U.S. President Barack Obama’s successful re-election efforts.

Santorum announced earlier this month that he intended to seek the party nomination.

Ginger Gibson in Washington contributed to this report.