Huntsman allies build effort for presidential campaign

Representatives of Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman are continuing their work to lay the groundwork for a potential run for president, either this cycle or the next.

Huntsman, the former Utah governor, is set to resign as President Obama's top diplomat in China on April 30. And, if he chooses to do so, the basic infrastructure to run for president should be in place by then.

Horizon PAC, the political organization assembled by supporters of a Huntsman presidential bid, hired two New Hampshire veteran operatives to head activities in the first-in-the-nation primary state, the New Hampshire Union-Leader reported Tuesday.

The PAC launched without coordination with Huntsman, who's not allowed to coordinate with Horizon while still serving as ambassador. But it's staffing up with veterans of past campaigns, specifically that of Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign.

Any campaign would probably focus its energy in large part in New Hampshire, where Huntsman, regarded as a relatively centrist candidate, could possibly score broader appeal.

However, it's still possible that Huntsman might return and decide against running.

Peter Huntsman, chairman of Huntsman Corp., the family's business, told Bloomberg News on Tuesday that his brother is interested in running for president, but possibly in 2016, if not 2012.