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Huntsman Courting Tom Ridge for Endorsement

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) is courting former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge’s support for his presumed campaign for the presidency.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Huntsman is actively seeking Ridge’s endorsement and expertise. The two have met and talked, and the former Pennsylvania governor finds Huntsman’s candidacy to be appealing — although Ridge has not yet officially signed onto Team Huntsman.

Huntsman has not formally announced his presidential campaign, but he is expected to officially jump into the race soon. He’s already made extensive visits to the early primary states of New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

But Huntsman, who until late April was ambassador to China for President Barack Obama, has not yet rolled out any major endorsements. Because Ridge was the nation’s first Department of Homeland Security Secretary, his backing would bolster Huntsman’s national security credentials and also boost his chances in Pennsylvania, where the former governor remains popular with voters.