Salt Lake City – Utah Governor Jon Huntsman issued the following statement today:

“When I had the honor of asking Utahns for their vote as Governor of the greatest state in America, I did so as a public servant. We set out, as a family, willing and able to do our very best. That dedication to service and to the success of our state and country has influenced our every step.

“It is in the spirit of placing country before self or politics that I have accepted the request and nomination by President Obama, and with the consent of the United States Senate, to serve as United States Ambassador to China.

“Mary Kaye and I are equally humbled and conflicted by this decision, understanding that the

U.S. – China relationship is among our nation’s most critical. We are honored by the President’s confidence and trust in our ability to contribute meaningfully, yet conflicted by leaving a state, people and job we love deeply. But when the President asks you to step up to serve your nation in such a capacity and at such an important time in world history, it is the end of the conversation and the beginning of an obligation.

“We have accomplished much with an excellent staff, cabinet and a dedicated legislature. I am proud of our work together which has resulted in Utah being recognized as the best managed state in the nation – with an economy second to none. Our journey has covered everything from comprehensive tax reform, the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR), and improving our state’s competitiveness to bolstering education and increasing teacher salaries, advancing healthcare reform and retooling our energy needs based upon a more sustainable future. Utah is positioned like few other states nationally to endure the challenging times, but indeed to exceed our expectations going forward.

Lt. Governor Gary Herbert has been an effective and loyal supporter of this Administration’s goals. I thank him for his service and have great confidence in his ability to govern the State.

“Serving as Utah’s 16th Governor truly has been our family’s greatest honor. Mary Kaye and I thank all Utahns for their friendship, support and trust, and ask for continued confidence as we begin this new chapter.”

A specific timeline of the transition between Governor Huntsman and Lt. Governor Herbert will be announced on Monday.