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|Huntsman, more moderate on gay rights, drops out of GOP presidential race|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|January 16, 2012 12:06|
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman dropped out of the GOP primary process for the 2012 general election today and endorsed rival Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts.
Huntsman failed to gain a solid footing after the first two contests of the year: the Iowa Caucuses, where he finished seventh, and the New Hampshire Primary, where he finished third, behind Romney and Congressman Ron Paul.
With his victory in New Hampshire, Romney solidified his status as the GOP front-runner.
“Today our campaign for the presidency ends, but our campaign to build a better and brighter America continues,” Huntsman said in a statement posted to his campaign website.
Huntsman may have been the most LGBT-friendly candidate left in the GOP field before today's announcement. He supports civil unions for same-sex couples and refused to sign the National Organization for Marriage's anti-gay marriage pledge, one of only two GOP candidates to make such a refusal. The other was Paul.
Supporters and some in the media have speculated that Huntsman could be named a possible vice presidential candidate by Romney.
Huntsman's concession left room for a possible VP nod. “I will never stop fighting for America, and I will continue to put her welfare first, ahead of any partisan or special interest,” he said.
“To our many supporters and volunteers, I offer my heartfelt thanks,” Huntsman added. “Mary Kaye and I are equally humbled and amazed at the outpouring of support we’ve received from friends and complete strangers.”
Top photo: Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman drops out of 2012 race (via Facebook)
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