Tax reform defined Huntsman's governorship

By JOSH LOFTIN | May 28, 2011 | 8:59 AM EDT

FILE - In this May 19, 2011 file photo, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. speaks at a Meet and Greet in Hanover, N.H. For Republicans who once supported combating global warming, the race for the presidency is already getting hot (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jon Huntsman's record in one of the country's most Republican states presents him with a challenge as he moves toward a run for the GOP presidential nomination.

The former Utah governor must strike a balance between emphasizing fiscally conservative policies likely to attract GOP primary voters and explaining other policies certain to repel them.

Conservatives who dominate the primaries will applaud a statewide flat tax, business incentives and private school vouchers in Utah.

But they probably will cringe at other policies. Those include Huntsman's support of cap and trade as a response to climate change, his backing of civil unions for gay couples, and his support for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

Huntsman is returning to Utah this weekend for the first time since stepping down as ambassador to China.