SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A small group of Jon Huntsman supporters are making a last-ditch effort to convince the former governor to run as a write-in candidate.
The move comes just days after Huntsman’s wife posted a photo on Instagram hinting at a potential write-in campaign. Huntsman — who lost the nomination to Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox during the Republican Primary June 30 — previously denied considering a write-in campaign.
After the race was called, Huntsman tweeted he would “accept the will of the people.”
Today the race was called, and we accept the will of the people, as is our tradition as Americans. The visions put forward for Utah were very different, and regret that I will not be leading the efforts in moving us towards a new horizon. 3/9
— Jon Huntsman (@JonHuntsman) July 7, 2020
But supporters haven’t lost hope.
Supporter Alicia Williams told KSL NewsRadio there’s still a chance for the former governor to regain the seat.
Williams reported a group of about 20 supporters meeting last week — analyzing data before presenting it to Huntsman. She said if Utahns were able to vote today with Huntsman as a write-in candidate, he would win with 42% of the vote, according to the group’s internal polling.
This data was pulled from a reputable polling agency, Williams said. However, the agency declined to have its name released to the public.
The group of supporters say they’ll continue strategizing — hoping for a meeting with Huntsman over the next two weeks.
Williams said the group of supporters haven’t reached out to Huntsman yet — waiting to gather sufficient data about whether a write-in campaign would be successful.
Cappy Jones, a friend of the family, said she talked with Huntsman’s wife and daughter — and she thinks they’re in support.
“I think they might consider it,” Jones said. “If there was a pathway to something different than what went on this first time around.”
Huntsman has until Aug. 31 to declare whether he’ll do it. Despite previously rejecting the idea of a write-in campaign, an Instagram post from his wife over the weekend re-ignited rumors.
“Isabel trying to convince her Bapa to do a write in campaign for Utah Governor,” the caption reads. “He told her he’d think about it…”
View this post on Instagram
His daughter, Abby Huntsman, later commented on the post with the hashtag “#AllInHunstmanWriteIn”.
Williams said until they get a “hard no” from Huntsman, they won’t stop.
KSL NewsRadio’s Lindsay Aerts contributed to this report.
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