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Huntsman’s announcement not deterring other possible gubernatorial candidates

(Photo: Rob Bishop. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News, file, July 2019)

SALT LAKE CITY – The list of high profile names entering Utah’s governor’s race may continue to get bigger, even after former governor Jon Huntsman throws his name into the mix.  Some well-known politicians say Huntsman’s announcement that he’s seeking office, again, isn’t preventing them from looking into running, also.

For a lot of political analysts, it was no big surprise that Huntsman decided to make another run for the state’s top job.  Former House Speaker Greg Hughes had been looking into raising enough money and establishing a campaign strategy for a while, and now that Huntsman has made it official, Hughes says his plans haven’t changed

Hughes says, “A guy like me, I’ve got to prepare for that.  Today’s announcement does not change my course at all.”

He says the growing list of high profile names shows how deep the talent pool in Utah is.

Hughes hasn’t made any estimates on when he’ll make an official decision.  However, First District Representative Rob Bishop, who is also considering running for governor, has an idea of when he’ll making an announcement.

“I will announce and I will begin what I’m going to do in the beginning of January.  That’s plenty of time to start campaigning,” Bishop says.

The congressman says he also planned for Huntsman to jump into the race.

“Every time someone enters the race, that comes into my equation of whether I will go through with it, or not,” he says.

Officials with the Hinckley Institute of Politics say former Utah Republican Party Chair Thomas Wright and former Governor’s Office of Economic Development Executive Director Spencer Eccles are in the process of making a decision on running for governor.  Institute Director Jason Perry estimates each candidate could spend between $3 million and $4 million, and most of that would go toward the primary.