Jon Huntsman qualifies for GOP gubernatorial primary ballot in Utah

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) beat a Monday deadline to qualify for his state’s GOP gubernatorial primary in June after securing the 28,000 signatures needed. 

Huntsman, who served as governor of Utah from 2005 until 2009, when he was tapped as then-President Obama’s ambassador to China, was seen as an instant front-runner when he launched a campaign for a second term in the governor’s mansion late last year.

But his campaign found itself scrambling in recent days to gather the 28,000 signatures Huntsman needed to appear on the primary ballot in June. The Salt Lake Tribune reported over the weekend that Huntsman was still about 3,000 signatures short of qualifying.

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Huntsman met that goal on Monday, tweeting thanks to those who offered the remaining signatures to put him on the ballot. 

“Huge thanks to the great people of our state, who responded in record numbers to allow us a slot on the primary ballot for Gov,” he tweeted. “We’re more energized than ever to lead out during this most unprecedented time.”

The Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office, which oversees elections in the state, published a list of qualified gubernatorial candidates on Monday that included Huntsman’s name. Four other Republicans have also qualified for the gubernatorial primary ballot. 

Huntsman has a résumé in politics and government that spans decades. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Singapore from 1992 to 1993 and later served as deputy U.S. trade representative under former President George W. Bush. 

He most recently served two years as U.S. ambassador to Russia under President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE. 

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