SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Will Jon Huntsman Jr. make another push to be Utah’s next governor? It’s a big question in Utah politics right now.
Morgan Lyon Cotti, Associate Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, provided insight on the topic to ABC4 News.
“He’s come out and said he won’t do it, but then we see these really cryptic social media posts from members of his family or members of his team, so everybody is wondering what is going to happen.”
Huntsman’s wife posted a picture on her social media page with the caption, “Isabel trying to convince her Bapa to do a write-in campaign for Utah Governor. He told her he’d think about it…”
“We don’t have that much time left before the election,” explained Cotti. “The clock is ticking.”
A write-in campaign is what happens when a candidate isn’t chosen by one of the major parties, or even by one of the third parties, and the filing deadline was missed.
“This is sort of the last shot to get your name in there,” explained the associate director.
If Huntsman does go this route, people will need to physically write his name on the ballot.
“The rules can be really strict. You have to spell the name correctly as it was listed when they filed to run,” Cotti said.
The associate director told ABC4’s Brittany Johnson, that running a statewide write-in campaign is difficult, expensive, and can be grueling.
“Above and beyond just looking voters in the eye and saying, ‘You know, I know that I wasn’t chosen to be my party’s nominee, but I’m still the right person to lead this state and I need you to write my name down.’ “
“Does he have a shot at beating out Lt. Governor Spencer Cox?” asked Johnson.
“The stars really have to align both for the positive elements of a campaign and the negative elements,” Cotti answered. “So you have on the positive side, people really have to want you to be their leader. And on the negative side, they usually have to be upset about something. They have to be so upset about something else that’s happening or some other candidate that they want you there.”
The deadline for Huntsman to declare whether or not he will do a write-in campaign is August 31.