Jon Huntsman

Yahoo! News and ABC News staff

Jon Huntsman, former U.S. ambassador to China and former Utah governor, announced his candidacy for the White House on Tuesday, June 21, in front of the Statue of Liberty, which is the same backdrop Ronald Reagan used in 1980 to begin his run for the presidency.

“For the first time in history, we are passing down to the next generation a country that is less powerful, less compassionate, less competitive and less confident than the one we got,” Huntsman proclaimed in launching his bid for the GOP nomination. “This, ladies and gentlemen, is totally unacceptable and it is totally un-American.

“We have the power, we have the means, we have the character to astonish the world again by making from adversity a new and better country; this inexhaustible land of promise and opportunity.”

The Obama White House was not pleased when Huntsman announced in April that he resigning his ambassadorship so that he could focus on a run against Obama.

Huntsman, 51, is a fiscal conservative. The libertarian Cato Institute has praised his tax policies as governor, especially his reduction of the Utah sales tax.

Huntsman's father, one of Utah's wealthiest businessmen, with an estimated worth of approximately $1 billion, is the founder of Huntsman Corporation, a global chemicals company with approximately 12,000 employees worldwide. His maternal grandfather, David B. Haight, was an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He and his wife Mary Kaye have seven children.

Profile Details

  • Birthplace: Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Family: Mary Kaye Cooper (wife); Children: Mary Anne, Abigail, Elizabeth, Jon, William, Gracie Mei, and Asha Bharati
  • Religion: Mormon
  • Job before candidacy: U.S. Ambassador to China
  • Political experience: Utah governor from 2005-2009.
  • Most recent book written: N/A.

More on Jon Huntsman: On paper, Huntsman looks really good

Pros: Huntsman has extensive foreign policy experience, plus executive experience as governor of Utah.

Cons: He was an Obama appointee to China and he has moderate-liberal views on some social issues.

Huntsman on the Web: