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Jon Huntsman to withdraw GOP presidential nomination bid

Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. delivers his State of the State address before the state legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009 in Salt Lake City. (Al Hartmann)

January 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Campaign officials say former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will withdraw from the race for the Republican presidential nomination Monday.

Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller tells ABC News that the former ambassador to China was "proud of the race that he ran" but "did not want to stand in the way" of rival Mitt Romney, the current front-runner for the nomination. Huntsman placed third in last week's New Hampshire primary despite devoting much of his campaign resources to the state.

He had already acknowledged that expectations for him in South Carolina's primary this week will be "very low."

ABC News reports that Huntsman plans to endorse Romney at an 11 a.m. press conference Monday in Myrtle Beach.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.