Huntsman Visiting S.C. Day After Launching 2012 Bid

June 22, 2011 - 5:59 AM

APTOPIX Republicans Huntsman 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman waves to supporters before officially announcing his bid, Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is visiting early-voting South Carolina one day after formally launching his presidential bid.

Huntsman on Wednesday is scheduled to visit a grill manufacturer before filing his paperwork to participate in South Carolina's first-in-the-South GOP primary.

Huntsman, former ambassador to China under President Barack Obama, stopped in the state last month to give a commencement address at the University of South Carolina. He also met privately with influential Republicans, including South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Formally entering the Republican presidential contest Tuesday in New Jersey, Huntsman joins a field of GOP contenders including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is exploring a possible bid as well.