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KASIE HUNT
Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Mitt Romney predicted Thursday that he will win Pennsylvania in November's presidential election.

"I do believe that I will win Pennsylvania in the fall and winning Pennsylvania will give us the White House, so this is a critical state for me," he told reporters as he telephoned GOP voters to urge them to vote in the state's April 24 primary.

He barely mentioned his chief rival, Rick Santorum, who represented Pennsylvania in the House and Senate for 16 years, though he did try to lower expectations for a win over the home-state candidate.

"I think everybody expects someone to win his home state. Newt Gingrich won his home state, I won mine. I think people expect the senator to win his home state," Romney said in between calls.

Romney addressed a few hundred supporters on the roof of his Pennsylvania headquarters, an office in downtown Harrisburg that the campaign leased late last month. He was to discuss energy policy later Thursday in the Scranton area.

Romney's team also announced the addition of former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie as a senior adviser. Gillespie had been providing informal advice to the former Massachusetts governor's top aides.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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