Jon Huntsman, the former US Ambassador to Russia and current gubernatorial candidate in Utah, announced Wednesday that he tested positive for coronavirus.
“After a second try, test results came back positive for Covid-19,” the Utah Republican wrote on Twitter. “Have been experiencing classic symptoms.. like so many others, my goal is to keep my family safe. Though isolated temporarily, we’ve never been more energized in this important race for Governor. The work goes on!”
Huntsman previously tested negative for the deadly virus, only to receive a call telling him he was given the wrong results due to a faulty sample, Huntsman says. After retaking the test, he tested positive. Huntsman says his family was also tested.
The former Republican presidential candidate faces steep competition in the primary election which is on June 30. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Huntsman is polling neck-and-neck with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox in the crowded four-person GOP field.
Huntsman said six people in his campaign office have now tested positive for the virus.
“We’re working remotely, we haven’t missed a beat. And we won’t miss a beat. We’ll just keep it up,” Huntsman told CNN. “My focus is going to be getting healthy and as always, making sure we have the best economic plan to get us out of this Covid hole.”
In a video message, Huntsman did not indicate if he himself would stop campaigning given his diagnosis, but said he’ll “stay in touch” regarding his situation.
Huntsman submitted his resignation as US Ambassador to Russia to President Donald Trump in August and subsequently moved back to his home state and announced his bid to return to the governor’s mansion in Salt Lake City. Huntsman has been twice elected governor but stepped aside in 2009 for serve under President Barack Obama as US ambassador to China until 2011.
Huntsman also served as the US ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush from 1992 to 1993 and ran for president in 2012 before joining the Trump administration.
The Huntsman campaign did not immediately return CNN’s request for comment.
Huntsman has made it clear he would support Trump as governor of Utah, saying “I think it’s really important to have a governor who supports President Trump,” according to the Daily Herald.
This story has been updated to include comment from Huntsman.