Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, a fiscal conservative/social moderate who was on a couple of vice-presidential short lists over the years, will endorse Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor, in the Republican presidential campaign on Friday.
Ridge, who was the nation's first secretary of Homeland Security, called Huntsman a "serious, insightful leader" in a statement released by the campaign. The endorsement, first reported by the Manchester, N.H. Union-Leader, is to be made at St. Anselm's College there.
By the standards of the rest of the 2012 Republican field, Huntsman occupies a moderate niche and he has lagged in early polls. The New Hampshire primary, with a more centrist primary electorate than Iowa or South Carolina, is considered Huntsman's best opportunity.
According to the Union Leader, Ridge said Thursday that Huntsman’s experience as a governor, businessman and ambassador to China make him “uniquely qualified to lead America to a more secure, prosperous and competitive future."
Ridge added: "I know Jon to be a serious, insightful leader who will bring together people from across the political spectrum to solve the many challenges we face, both at home and around the world.”