Jon Huntsman announces bid for Utah governor
Jon Huntsman on Thursday announced his bid for a third term as Utah’s governor, saying it was “time to give back to our home state again.”
Huntman, who most recently served as the US ambassador to Russia, was Utah’s governor from 2005 to 2009. The Republican resigned from his ambassadorship in August and moved back to Utah last month, after his resignation was effective.
In the video announcing his campaign, Huntsman said the state “must stay ahead of the curve, ahead of the dysfunction in Washington.” It highlighted his previous two terms as governor, including his signing of tax overhaul legislation.
Outside of Utah politics Huntsman’s career has taken him all over the world. He served as the US ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush from 1992 to 1993 and then served under President Barack Obama as US ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011. He resigned from his second term as governor to serve in the Obama administration.
Huntsman resigned as ambassador to China to run for president in 2012. A moderate Republican, he gained notice at that time for tweeting that he believed in evolution and trusted scientists on climate change. He focused his campaign on New Hampshire. After finishing third in that state’s primary, he dropped out and endorsed Mitt Romney, who went on to win the GOP nomination but eventually lost to Obama.
During Huntsman’s 2017 confirmation hearing to become ambassador to Russia under the Trump administration, he declared that there was “no question Russia interfered in the US election last summer.”
In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune this week, Huntsman declined to endorse President Donald Trump’s reelection and said he was “very troubled” by the allegations that are part of the House impeachment inquiry.
The Huntsman campaign has not yet returned a request for comment.