Jon Huntsman’s 2020 campaign hit the airwaves this weekend with a pair of TV ads re-introducing the former governor to Utah voters.
One ad focuses on the problems facing Utah, including air quality, transportation and Utah’s mental health crisis. The other highlights Huntsman’s ties to Utah even though he served as Ambassador to China and Russia in the Obama and Trump administrations.
“We’ve served our country in the top two diplomatic posts in the world. Now we feel it is time to give back to our home state again,” says the second ad, alluding to Huntsman’s first go-round as governor.
One ad aired following the University of Utah’s Alamo Bowl loss to Texas on New Year’s Eve. The rest will air on cable
Huntsman’s campaign manager Lisa Roskelley tells UtahPolicy.com the commercials will air on cable as well as at least one local TV station through Friday of this week. Huntsman’s team has spent approximately $25,000 on the ad buy.
“This is part of the education efforts of the campaign to engage voters as we come into the new year,” says Roskelley. “We've gotten great feedback as voters look to learn more and be involved in getting Jon Huntsman elected.”
Huntsman is one of five declared candidates for the GOP gubernatorial nomination this year. Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, Salt Lake City Council member Aimee Winder Newton, former GOP chairman Thomas Wright and businessman Jeff Burningham have also launched their campaigns.
Huntsman was at 29% support among Republican voters in a recent Utah Political Trends survey from UtahPolicy.com and Y2 Analytics, trailing Cox who came in with 41%.
Former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes is expected to announce his candidacy next week while retiring Rep. Rob Bishop will decide later this month if he is entering the fray. Attorney General Sean Reyes is also said to be considering running.