Jon Huntsman announces run for Utah governor

Jon Huntsman announces run for Utah governor
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Former ambassador Jon Huntsman announced on Thursday that he is running to be the governor of Utah, a post he previously held as a Republican between 2005 and 2009. 

"I'm Jon Huntsman and I'm running for governor of Utah," he said in a campaign ad posted Thursday. 

"The most important thing we can do as people in the greatest state in America is to secure the future, and secure opportunities, life, liberty and happiness for the next generation of Utahns."

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Huntsman added that he believes the most pressing issue has to be with "growth."

The former governor announced that he is running on Salt Lake City-based KSL NewsRadio, saying, “We are so very honored and humbled to announce my candidacy for governor of the greatest state in America.” 

Huntsman served as ambassador to China in the Obama administration and ambassador to Russia in the Trump administration. 

Several news outlets reported Wednesday that he was expected to announce his bid for the governorship on Thursday. 

Current Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has said he will not seek reelection. He has endorsed Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox in the Republican primary for governor. 

Fellow Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Burningham welcomed Huntsman to the race in a statement. 

"I've always believed Utah deserves a robust debate on the issues impacting our future," Burningham said  "I look forward to making my case for why Utah needs a job-creating, innovative outsider, instead of a career politician.”

John Bowden contributed.