Jon Huntsman, Jr.

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Jon Huntsman
Candidate for
President of the United States (withdrew)
Prior offices
U.S. Ambassador to China
August 11, 2009-2011
Governor of Utah
January 3, 2005 – August 11, 2009
American Ambassador to Singapore
Bachelor'sUniversity of Pennsylvania
BirthdayMarch 26, 1960
Place of birthPalo Alto, CA
ProfessionDiplomat and Politician
Office website
Campaign website
Jon Meade Huntsman, Jr. (born March 26, 1960 in Palo Alto, California) was the Governor of Utah from 2005- August 11, 2009. He left office in order to assume a position as U.S. Ambassador to China, and was succeeded by Gary Herbert.[1] Huntsman was a Republican candidate for U.S. President in 2012.[2] He suspended his campaign on January 16, 2012, choosing to instead endorse Mitt Romney.[3]

Huntman, a Republican, previously served as the 16th Governor of Utah, a position to which he was elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. Before that, he was the American Ambassador to Singapore under the 41st President, George H.W. Bush, from 1992 to 1993.


Huntsman is the son of billionaire businessman and philanthropist Jon Huntsman, Sr. of Huntsman Corporation. He attended the University of Utah, where he was a Sigma Chi. He received a Bachelor's degree in business from the University of Pennsylvania after transferring to that school.[4]

He served a Latter-day Saints mission in Taiwan and speaks fluent Standard Mandarin Chinese.[4]


After college, Huntsman served as a White House staff assistant in the Reagan Administration, U.S. ambassador to Singapore in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, and a deputy United States trade representative in the George W. Bush Administration.[4]

In addition to his public service, Huntsman served as an executive for the Huntsman Corporation, the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and Huntsman Family Holdings Company. Other organizations he has served include the Utah Opera, Envision Utah, the Coalition for Utah's Future, and KSL-TV's Family Now campaign.[4]


Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Jon Huntsman, Jr. endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

Political Policies

As governor, Huntsman lists economic development, healthcare reform, education, and energy security as his top priorites. He has overseen large tax cuts and has advocated reorganizing the way that services are distributed so they the government will not become overwhelmed by the state's fast growing population. Huntsman would like to expand healthcare, mainly through the private sector, by using tax breaks and negotiation to keep prices down. He also advocates encouraging people with insurance to use it as preventive care. The governor also sees Utah as being uncompetitive with the rest of the nation in terms of securing the best teachers.[5]

Huntsman is receptive to environmental issues and would like the state to reduce fuel and energy consumption. He is also concerned with nuclear waste being stored within his state. On hot button social issues, such as abortion, gay marriage, and gun control, Huntsman generally walks a more conservative line. He also defines his taxation policy as "business friendly."[6]

On The Issues Vote Match

Jon Huntsman's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Huntsman is a Centrist. Huntsman received a score of 50 percent on social issues and 57 percent on economic issues.[7]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[8]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Unknown Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Favors Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Unknown
Higher taxes on the wealthy Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Strongly Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Strongly Favors Expand the military Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Favors Stay out of Iran Strongly Favors
Privatize Social Security Unknown Never legalize marijuana Favors
Note: Information last updated: June 18, 2014.[7]



See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Huntsman launched his campaign to run in the 2012 presidential election on June 21, 2011 in Liberty State Park, New Jersey - the same place where Ronald Reagan announced his 1980 presidential candidacy.[9] Huntsman chose not to compete in the Iowa straw poll on August 13, 2011, choosing instead to focus on primary elections in Florida, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Despite his non-participation in the poll, he was able to garner 69 votes - enough for a second-to-last finish.[10]

On January 16, 2012, Huntsman ended his bid for the Republican nomination. He endorsed Mitt Romney.[3]


On November 4, 2008, Jon Huntsman/Gary Herbert won re-election to the office of Governor/Lt. Governor of Utah. They defeated Bob Springmeyer/Valdez, Dell Schanze/Hobbs and Doughton in the general election.

Governor/Lt. Governor of Utah, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJon Huntsman/Gary Herbert Incumbent 77.6% 734,049
     Democratic Bob Springmeyer/Valdez 19.7% 186,503
     Libertarian Dell Schanze/Hobbs 2.6% 24,820
     Write-In Doughton 0% 153
Total Votes 945,525
Election Results Via: Utah Lieutenant Governor


In November 2004, Huntsman was elected Utah Governor with 57% of the vote, defeating Democratic Party nominee Scott Matheson, Jr.[11]

Governor/Lt. Governor of Utah, 2004
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJon Huntsman/Gary Herbert 57.7% 531,190
     Democratic Matheson/Hale 41.3% 380,359
     PC Larsen/Shadowind 0.9% 8,399
     Write-In Fonua 0% 12
Total Votes 919,960
Election Results Via:


Huntsman's maternal grandfather David B. Haight was an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Huntsman and his family are also members. Huntsman has eight brothers and sisters and over 60 nieces and nephews on his side of the family.[12]

Huntsman is a seventh-generation Utahn; his wife Mary Kaye is a first-generation Utahn. Together they have seven children: Mary Anne (b. 1985), Abigail (b. 1988), Elizabeth (b. 1989), Jon III (b. 1991), William (b. 1993), Gracie Mei (b. 2000) who was adopted from China, and another baby girl from India, Asha Bharati (b. 2006).[12]

Huntsman is also a self-proclaimed fan of the progressive rock genre of music and on July 30, 2007, attended a concert by progressive metal band Dream Theater. Later that day, Huntsman signed a proclamation creating "Dream Theater Day" on that date for the state of Utah.[12]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Salt Lake Tribune, "Huntsman out as guv, takes new post as ambassador," August 11, 2009
  2., " Jon Huntsman in the Hunt in NH," October 17, 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 New York Times, "Huntsman Says He's Quitting G.O.P Race," January 15, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Project Vote Smart, "Biography of Jon Huntsman," accessed June 30, 2012
  5. Office of the Utah Governor, "Priorities"
  6. On the Issues, "Jon Huntsman"
  7. 7.0 7.1 On The Issues, "Jon Huntsman Vote Match," accessed June 18, 2014
  8. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  9. Huffington Post, "Jon Huntsman for President: 2012 announcement kicks off campaign," June 21, 2011
  10. Salt Lake Tribune, "Jon Huntsman second-to-last in Iowa straw poll," August 14, 2011
  11. Utah election results 2004 The Washington Post, Nov. 24, 2004
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Jon Huntsman 2012, "About Jon," accessed June 30, 2012 (dead link)