Jon Huntsman, the former U.S. ambassador to China, is giving up his campaign to be the Republican Party’s nominee to challenge President Barack Obama in the November U.S. election.
Huntsman, who also served as governor of the western state of Utah, finished third in last week’s New Hampshire primary and has been lagging at the back of the field in national opinion polls.
Officials in Huntsman’s campaign said he will formally withdraw from the race later today and will endorse Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor.
The officials said Huntsman believes Romney, who finished first in New Hampshire and in the Iowa caucuses, has the best chance to defeat Obama.
The next primary votes in the Republican contest will be held in the southern states of South Carolina on January 21, and in Florida on January 31.
compiled from agency reports