Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman established a federal political action committee on Tuesday as a possible precursor to running for president.

Huntsman, a centrist former Republican governor of Utah, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to set up a national version of the "Horizon PAC" his supporters had organized during his final months as ambassador.

The new federal PAC, H-PAC, should give Huntsman an opportunity to formalize infrastructure and staff in case he decides to pursue the Republican presidential nomination.

Huntsman's backers had organized some of the framework for a potential campaign over the past few months, but they weren't allowed any coordination with Huntsman while he was still ambassador.

During that time, they established "Horizon PAC," which existed at the state level.

After his resignation became effective on April 30, Huntsman's spent time huddled with advisers in Washington and in meetings on Capitol Hill.

Huntsman will begin testing the waters about running for president during a pair of commencement addresses in May in the key primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina.