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Polls Show Huntsman Losing Old Job As Governor in '20

Polls Show Huntsman Losing Old Job As Governor in '20

Jon Huntsman. (Iliya Pitalev/Sputnik via AP)

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Thursday, 08 August 2019 07:33 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Within hours of the news last week that Jon Huntsman had announced his resignation as U.S. ambassador to Russia speculation was rampant that he would return to his native Utah and seek a third nonconsecutive term as governor.

But it appears this will be a steep hill to climb for Huntsman, 59, who resigned as governor early in his second term in 2009 to become Barack Obama’s ambassador to China. 

According to a just-completed Dan Jones poll conducted for the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox leads Huntsman by 41 to 26 percent among Republican voters.

Rounding out the field were former State GOP Chairman Thomas Wright with 8 percent, former House Speaker Greg Hughes with 6 percent, and 17 percent undecided.

Most Beehive State GOP sources who talked to Newsmax agreed that the stigma of Huntsman serving as Obama’s man in Beijing has never worn off. 

“That was a key factor in the demise of Gov. Huntsman’s presidential campaign [in 2012] and it isn’t forgotten in Utah,” one veteran GOP activist from Salt Lake City who requested anonymity told us.

The same source also noted that Huntsman has been out of Utah for more than a decade.  After withdrawing from the ’12 presidential race, he served as head of the Washington-based Atlantic Council and then became Trump’s ambassador to Russia. 

The record of former governors reclaiming their old jobs being out of  office is mixed. The success of Democrat Jerry Brown of California, who returned to the statehouse in 2010 (28 years after completing his first eight years as governor) comes immediately to mind.

But the political battlefields are littered with other former governors who tried and failed to return to the Governor’s Mansion: Democrats Orval Faubus of Arkansas, Robert Meyner of New Jersey, and Mark White of Texas are cases in point.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Within hours of the news last week that Jon Huntsman had announced his resignation as U.S. ambassador to Russia speculation was rampant that he would return to his native Utah and seek a third nonconsecutive term as governor.
huntsman, utah, ambassador, obama, poll
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2019-33-08
Thursday, 08 August 2019 07:33 PM
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