Jon Huntsman is headed to Florida on Wednesday to accept an endorsement from Jeb Bush Jr. - son of the state’s popular ex-governor Jeb Bush Sr. and a nephew of President George W. Bush.
Huntsman had teased the Florida visit as a “major announcement,” sparking immediate speculation that Governor Bush, who has spoken highly of Huntsman in the past and is one of the party’s most highly respected figures nationally, might declare his support. But the junior Bush is an established figure in the state as well and has helped lead efforts to bring Latino voters into the Republican fold.
Bush will join the Huntsman team to coordinate the campaign’s youth and young professionals outreach program.
“I am confident that Jon’s vision will appeal to young voters, who are concerned about the trillions of dollars in debt being piled on their backs, and who desperately seek jobs and economic opportunity,” he said in a statement on the Huntsman campaign site. He notably name-dropped Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) twice in his statement, who has not yet backed a candidate.
Bush previously worked on Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 campaign, which ended after a poor showing in Florida despite an intense effort by the candidate to win the state.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.