UPDATE: Jan. 16 12:00 p.m.
As reported by , Jon Huntsman has officially ended his bid for the White House, calling on his fellow GOP contenders to "stop attacking each other and start talking to the American people."
"I am suspending my campaign," Huntsman said as part of his brief remarks during an 11 a.m. South Carolina press conference. [ from our SC Patch Primary team.]
In his statement, Huntsman said he would support his competitor Mitt Romney, saying he is the candidate "best equipped" to beat President Obama.
Huntsman hovered near the bottom of all. He finished third in New Hampshire, a state that he invested heavily in after skipping the Iowa Caucus.
Original story begins here:
Despite pouring all his efforts into New Hampshire, Jon Huntsman's third-place finish here and lack of momentum going into South Carolina may have been enough to suck the wind out of his campaign and end his run for the White House, the New York Times is reporting.
As reported tonight by , Huntsman had the support of Hampton resident , a state senator, as well as other local officials and politicians.
Stiles said she was surprised by the news when contacted Sunday night, stating she hadn't received any information about the decision, and thought the timing was strange considering that earlier in the day Huntsman received a significant South Carolina endorsement.
Stiles said she thought the voter support for the candidate was there, although she said she's been "irritated" by the way national and local media have at times overlooked the governor.
"I find it very interesting even though he came in third in New Hampshire that any of the reporting down in South Carolina didn't include him," she said. "I think he had a good message. I think he was the right candidate for the right time, but I just don't know why the media didn't pick up on that or connect it."
Huntsman, a former Utah governor, campaigned harder in New Hampshire than any other GOP candidate. He held close to 200 public events in the state.
Earlier today Huntsman received the endorsement of South Carolina's The State newspaper in a lengthy editorial that read, in part:
"There are actually two sensible, experienced grownups. And while Mr. Romney is far more appealing than any of the other choices, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is more principled, has a far more impressive resume and offers a significantly more important message ... Mr. Huntsman is a true conservative, with a record and platform of bold economic reform straight out of the free-market bible, but he’s a realist, whose goal is likewise to get things done. Under his leadership, Utah led the nation in job creation, and the Pew Center on the States ranked it the best-managed state in the nation."