Paul West
Los Angeles Times
January 16, 2012

Jon Huntsman Jr. will end his run for the Republican presidential nomination and endorse longtime rival Mitt Romney on Monday, a Huntsman campaign source said Sunday night.

Huntsman, a former Utah governor, quit his post last year as President Obama’s ambassador to China to make a surprise entry into the 2012 race. But that diplomatic credential wound up working to his disadvantage in a Republican contest driven largely by the party’s desire to unseat the Democratic incumbent in the White House.

His decision to drop out came on the eve of a potentially decisive round of debates and primary voting in South Carolina and Florida, with Romney poised to lock up the nomination. It is unlikely that Huntsman’s endorsement will have a significant effect, given his anemic support from GOP voters.

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