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2 Utahns may become U.S. ambassadors

WASHINGTON — Rumors suggest that two wealthy Utahns may soon become U.S. ambassadors.

Millionaire John Price, one of the nation's largest shopping center developers, may soon be named U.S. ambassador to Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, according to congressional and administration sources.

And Jon Huntsman Jr. — former ambassador to Singapore during the George Bush Sr. administration, and son of chemical magnate Jon Huntsman Sr. — may be in line to be ambassador to Indonesia.

Huntsman had been mentioned earlier this year as a possible ambassador to China. But the Washington Post said Wednesday that he now "looks to be heading to the equally tough embassy in Jakarta."

Huntsman speaks Mandarin, learned while he was an LDS missionary in Hong Kong. Huntsman's office had no comment on earlier stories suggesting he was under consideration as an ambassador.

Meanwhile, sources said Price is considered a leader for the spot in Mauritius, a small island nation of 720 square miles and a population just over 1 million. Price's office did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Price annually is one of the two largest political donors in Utah, usually nearly tied with financier Ian Cumming for that title. However, Democrat Cumming recently moved to Wyoming.


E-MAIL: lee@desnews.com