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Santorum requests Secret Service protection after 'rowdy' rally

Rick Santorum

January 5, 2012: Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign stop with college students.AP

Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum's campaign wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday requesting Secret Service protection, Fox News confirms.

Santorum sought protection following a rowdy rally in Washington state earlier in the week.

Santorum says it's "a sad state of affairs" that suck protection is necessary, especially after he spent several weeks campaigning in a supporter's pickup truck. However, he said the protection would be for his family's sake.

Santorum hosted an outdoor rally adjacent to the campsite of Tacoma, Wash., Occupy protesters Monday night. They chanted and yelled during most of the event. Two protesters were dragged away by police.

Reflecting on the experience after another campaign stop Tuesday night, Santorum says it's unfortunate that some people "can get a little rowdy and sometimes a little violent."

Currently, the only GOP contender with Secret Service protection is Mitt Romney