After stumping in early primary states, the former Utah governor will officially enter the race
Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman said Tuesday that he would launch his presidential campaign on June 21 at Liberty State Park in New Jersey.
"I intend to announce will be a candidate for the presidency a week from today," he said while appearing at a New York City panel on China with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
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Ronald Reagan kicked off his 1980 campaign at Liberty State Park.
Huntsman, who delved deeply into internal Chinese politics during the discussion, answered an abrupt question from Thomson Reuters Editor-at-Large Harry Evans about his campaign intentions.
"Is anybody listening to this broadcast?" Huntsman joked initially, saying his family would be surprised by the announcement.
Since returning from his ambassadorship in China over a month ago, Huntsman has for several weeks stumped aggressively in New Hampshire but stopped short of hastening to catch up to other Republican candidates whose campaigns have been underway for months. His shadow campaign, and expectations that he will prove a nimble policy debater with moderate credentials from a heavily conservative state, have placed him near the top rung of candidates as the GOP field continues to take shape.