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Reports: Utah GOP Gov. Huntsman to resign, become Obama’s China ambassador

By Michelle Malkin  •  May 15, 2009 10:15 PM

Several Utah media outlets report tonight that GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman will step down and accept President Obama’s nomination as US ambassador to China.

Governor Jon M. Huntsman Jr. will resign and accept an appointment as ambassador to China, ABC 4 has confirmed.

A press conference has been called for Saturday morning at the White House to announce the appointment.

The appointment will most likely mean that Gary Herbert will become Utah’s next governor. Since Huntsman has only served a few months into his second term, a special election will most likely be called in 2010.

The U.S. Senate will have to confirm the appointment.

And: “2News has confirmed through multiple sources that Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. may resign and accept the position of Ambassador to China in the Obama Administration. We hear the official announcement may come as early as Saturday. Governor Huntsman served as Ambassador to Singapore under President George H. W. Bush.”

Salt Lake Tribune:

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. will resign from office to accept a nomination to become the ambassador to China.

Sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune that an announcement is scheduled for Saturday. Huntsman is in Washington, D.C., but calls to his spokeswoman and various staffers were not returned Friday night.

Huntsman, who had been mentioned as a potential Republican contender for the White House, has previously served as the Deputy United States Trade Representative and was the ambassador Singapore. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and he and his wife, Mary Kaye, have adopted a daughter from China.

Huntsman had been scheduled to travel to China next week as part of a delegation of Western governors visiting the nation to discuss climate change, alternative energy and clean air technologies.

That trip was canceled due to concerns by some of the governors over the swine flu outbreak.

Huntsman will be replaced by Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert. Contacted Friday evening, Joe Demma, Herbert’s chief of staff, said neither he nor the lieutenant governor knew anything about any Huntsman appointment.

No wonder he’s been skipping out on GOP meetings lately.

Guess David Plouffe has nothing to fear now.

You know who won’t miss Huntsman? Tea Party protesters who booed him on Tax Day.


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