WASHINGTON – Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson will travel to New Hampshire on Monday to file papers that declare entrance into the state's primary election, FOX News has learned exclusively, despite reports that he had considered sending a surrogate to the state to do so.
It will be the first trip back to New Hampshire since his announcement tour eight weeks ago.
Thompson has been absent in New Hampshire since his announcement, prompting criticism that he has been avoiding the key primary state at his political peril. There have also been reports that he planned to send a surrogate to file his papers.
For his part, Thompson—as well as his campaign staffers—say he is committed to the state.
"They are all important. These early primary states provide momentum so I've been to New Hampshire, I'll be going to New Hampshire a lot, and the same thing is true of Iowa, and Florida and lots of other early caucus or primary states," Thompson said Wednesday in South Carolina.
Rudy Giuliani and John McCain filed in New Hampshire earlier this week, and Mitt Romney is expected to do so on Monday, rounding out the top of the Republican primary field.
FOX News' Serafin Gomez contributed to this report.