Thursday morning, Utah’s former Governor announced he was running for Governor again.

John Huntsman resigned announced his resignation from the Trump Administration three months ago where he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Russia.

In 2009, Huntsman resigned as Utah’s Governor in the middle of his second term to serve as a U.S. Ambassador to China under the Obama administration. Huntsman unsuccessfully ran for president in 2012.

From Fox News:

Huntsman left the governorship in the middle of his second term in 2009 to serve as ambassador to China in the Obama administration. He recently finished a two-year stint as ambassador to Russia under President Trump, which ended when he decided to return to Utah last month. (Huntsman had announced his resignation in August.)

“We’ve served our country in the top two diplomatic posts in the world,” Huntsman said in a campaign video featuring him and his wife Mary Kaye Huntsman. “Now we feel it is time to give back to our home state. Again.”

Huntsman unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Earlier in his career, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush.

Huntsman joins a crowded field that already includes Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, Salt Lake County Council Chair Aimee Winder-Newton, businessman Jeff Burningham, and Jason Christensen, who has run for various positions in the past.

Local polling has Huntsman as one of the top two candidates for Governor. From Politico:

Huntsman had been mentioned as a top prospect within the Republican primary for governor. His entrance adds to the number of competitors in the field. Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox is running, as is Salt Lake County Counctilwoman Aimee Winder Newton and businessman Jeff Burningham.

Cox has the endorsement of retiring GOP Gov. Gary Herbert, who replaced Huntsman in 2009 and declined to run for a third full term next year.

The few surveys of the race indicate that Huntsman and Cox would be the two most competitive candidates. A Salt Lake Chamber poll found Huntsman with 30 percent support among Republican voters, compared to 34 percent for Cox.

In his announcement Thursday, Huntsman alluded to his experience as a governor, a likely prominent theme in his candidacy. Prior to resigning in 2009, Huntsman’s approval ratings were as high as 84 percent.

“Just to put it in a nutshell, I believe that we face an inflection point as a state,” Huntsman said. “I think that the years ahead are going to be absolutely critical, and the choices that we make are going to shape the future for years to come. That’s what governors do. They look into the future. They anticipate what our needs are going to be. They assemble the best people we can find, and they make choices that aren’t immediate but resonate for a very long time.”


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