Meet the candidates: Jon Huntsman

Jun 22, 2020, 12:19 PM | Updated: Jun 23, 2020, 2:28 pm
huntsman signatures COVID-19, SLCO Health Department released Jon Huntsman Jr. from isolation...
FILE - Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. answers a question during a meeting with the Deseret News and KSL editorial boards in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. Ravell Call, Deseret News

Jon Huntsman Jr. was born on March 26, 1960, in Redwood City, Calif. 

Huntsman served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to Taiwan.  He received a Bachelor of Arts in international politics in 1987 from the University of Pennsylvania.

Huntsman and his wife, Mary Kaye, have seven children.

The candidate is seeking his former job as governor of Utah (2005-2009), winning by a landslide in 2008. He was succeeded by Lieutenant Gov. Gary Herbert.

If re-elected, Huntsman will be the first governor in Utah history to serve non-consecutive terms.

Huntsman served as the U.S. ambassador to Russia (2017-2019), to China (2009-2011) and to Singapore (1992-1993).

Huntsman has served in every presidential administration since President Ronald Reagan. He campaigned for the White House during the 2012 presidential election.

Huntsman announced his bid on Nov. 14, 2019, to again become governor of Utah. On Feb. 7, 2020, Huntsman selected Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi as his running mate.

Huntsman says he would like to take some of the lessons in remote schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic and make permanent changes to the state education system. According to his campaign, “We need to cut back on the standardized testing and give teachers more time to creatively engage with kids.”

The candidate calls for increasing the availability of charging stations for electric cars and converting the UTA FrontRunner train engines to electric.

The former governor is a supporter of the Second Amendment and says the state’s current firearms laws are “appropriate” and any further restrictions on guns are not needed.

His response to an NRA survey can be read here.

Find out more about candidate Huntsman at his campaign website.


Huntsman announced June 10, 2020 that he tested positive for the coronavirus after originally receiving the “wrong results.”

“After a second try, test results came back positive for Covid-19,” Huntsman, 60, tweeted. “Have been experiencing classic symptoms . . . like so many others, my goal is to keep my family safe.”

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