Jon Huntsman expected to run for governor in Utah

Jon Huntsman expected to run for governor in Utah
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Former ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr.Jon HuntsmanThe Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field Jon Huntsman announces run for Utah governor Jon Huntsman expected to run for governor in Utah MORE will announce a bid for governor of Utah, multiple news outlets reported Wednesday night.

Huntsman, who served as governor of Utah from 2005-2009 before being named former President Obama's ambassador to China and later President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE's ambassador to Russia, will announce his bid for governor on Thursday, according to the Deseret News and Utahpolicy.com.

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The governor's mansion will be up for grabs in 2020 as incumbent Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has announced that he does not plan to seek reelection. Herbert has endorsed the candidacy of Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox (R) in the state's Republican primary.

Huntsman is scheduled to meet with reporters following his visit to Southern Utah University on Thursday. He's also expected to speak at Dixie State University later this week.

Another leading GOP candidate in the primary field, businessman Jeff Burningham, told The Hill in a statement that he welcomed Huntsman's addition to the race.

“I welcome Ambassador Huntsman to the race. I've always believed Utah deserves a robust debate on the issues impacting our future. We need a smart plan for keeping our economy strong, modernizing our education system, and reclaiming our public lands for responsible use. I look forward to making my case for why Utah needs a job-creating, innovative outsider, instead of a career politician," he said in an emailed statement.

The former ambassador unsuccessfully ran for president in 2012, losing the GOP nomination to now-Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyHere are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump Statesmen seek bipartisan solutions to big challenges Georgia ready for unpredictable Senate race MORE (R-Utah).

Updated at 2:50 p.m. on 11/14 to reflect Mr. Burningham's statement.