Defying personal and professional pressures, Rick Santorum is returning to the U.S. presidential campaign trail in his uphill battle against presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

After a five-day break to celebrate Easter, help care for his sick daughter and thrash out strategy, Santorum kicks off the fight for his home state, Pennsylvania, in earnest on Tuesday.

He needs to win the state by a decent margin to stay in the race against Romney, whose allies have already begun negative TV attacks against the conservative former senator.

Santorum holds a rally in Bedford on Tuesday and then addresses his alma mater Penn State Dickinson School of Law, dampening talk he is near to quitting the race.

“Clearly, once we get campaigning, then that will certainly quiet any talk of us doing anything other than moving full-speed ahead,” campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart said.

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