Jon Huntsman ‘likely’ to base his 2012 campaign in Florida

Holly Bailey

Jon Huntsman isn't an official candidate for the presidency, but his campaign-in-waiting is already planning where he'll base his 2012 bid.

As Politico's Mike Allen first reported, the former Utah governor plans to base his expected White House campaign in Orlando, Fla., right in the heart of a key presidential swing state that will no doubt influence the upcoming GOP primary and 2012 general election.

A source close to the former governor, who declined to be named, told The Ticket that while Huntsman has not made a final decision, Orlando is "likely" to be where his campaign is based if he officially decides to run. But it's not just for the obvious political benefit, the source says: Huntsman's wife, Mary Kaye, grew up in the area, and her family, including her parents, live there.

Still, the decision is a hint at Huntsman's thinking on plotting a successful path to the GOP nomination. The former governor, who left his post as President Obama's ambassador to China last month, visited South Carolina earlier this month, and piggy-backed a trip to Florida on that jaunt. Tomorrow, he's scheduled to kick off a five-day visit to New Hampshire.

(Photo of Jon and Mary Kaye Huntsman: Charles Dharapak/AP)