Gingrich makes stop at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz

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Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gringrich sat in an aisle seat near the front of Idlewild Baptist Church Sunday morning, listening to a sermon praising the sanctity of life and the misery of abortion.

The Rev. Russell Moore was preaching to the choir, as Gingrich’s staunch pro-life support underpins his campaign to capture the conservative right’s vote.

Gingrich was in town continuing his quest for the presidency and a win in the crucial Florida primary election Tuesday. He spent more than an hour listening to the sermon in Tampa’s largest church, whose worship center holds 5,500 people. Thousands attended the 9:30 a.m. service Gingrich attended, though plenty of balcony seats were empty.

Some came to church unaware Gingrich would be in attendance and steered clear of the media waiting outside. Others were eager to meet the former speaker of the House, shake his hand, pose for a photo and get an autograph.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.