Jon Huntsman loses GOP primary in Utah by a hair

The former governor fell just shy of of securing the nomination for his third term as Utah's top official

Updated: July 7, 2020 - 12:00pm

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will not win a third term as the state's governor. 

Huntsman's campaign fell by just one percentage point short to Lt. Gov Spencer Cox in the state's Republican gubernatorial primary, officials said Monday night after tabulating results from the June 30 primary.

Huntsman earned 35% of the vote, while Cox won with 36%. Former state House Speaker Greg Hughes captured  21%.

Huntsman was previously elected to the position in 2004 and 2008, before leaving to serve as President Obama's ambassador to China, which he followed up with an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2012. He also served as President Trump's ambassador to Russia, a position he left last year.

Cox, who has served at lieutenant governor since 2013 had the support of outgoing Governor Gary Herbert. 

Cox will face off against Chris Peterson, an attorney, in the general election. Republicans have not lost a gubernatorial race in Utah in 36 years. 

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