Jon Huntsman 03

On the last day to turn in signatures, former Gov. Jon Huntsman finally qualified for the June primary ballot.

Huntsman’s campaign finally hit the 28,000 signatures needed to secure a spot in the primary. They join former GOP Chairman Thomas Wright and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox. The remaining Republican candidates, save Jan Garbett, will attempt to qualify through the GOP state convention next weekend. Garbett is also seeking to make the primary election through signatures, but will not compete at convention.

The first batch of signatures Huntsman turned in suffered from an abysmal verification rate, with more than half of them being thrown out. 

Huntsman was able to overcome the hurdle to petition gathering presented by the coronavirus. Utahns were asked to stay in their homes and to avoid personal contact with people to slow down the spread of the virus, which hindered the ability to collect signatures in person. Gov. Herbert allowed campaigns to collect signatures remotely, and Huntsman’s campaign was able to finish their efforts that way.

Huntsman and Cox are the frontrunners in the upcoming primary election according to the latest UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2 News survey from Y2 Analytics. Cox gets 40 percent support from likely GOP primary voters, while Huntsman is at 33 percent.

Huntsman secured the endorsement of Sen. Mike Lee last week.