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Huntsman boycotts Nevada debate in protest of date

By Steve Peoples

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 14 2011 9:02 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks at the Portsmouth Rotary Club meeting in Greenland, N.H., Thursday afternoon, Oct. 13, 2011.

Stephan Savoia, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

EXETER, N.H. — Jon Huntsman is boycotting next week's Republican presidential debate in Nevada.

The former Utah governor and other candidates say Nevada has unfairly shifted the date of its presidential caucuses. But Huntsman becomes the first to announce plans to skip next Tuesday's nationally-televised GOP debate in protest.

Huntsman's Friday decision comes as New Hampshire Republican leaders are calling for a Nevada boycott. Nevada officials recently set their state's presidential caucuses for Jan. 14 in violation of Republican National Committee rules.

That's pressured New Hampshire to move up its own presidential primary, which is supposed to be the first in the nation.

Huntsman's decision is not a huge surprise. His rival Mitt Romney has strong political support in Nevada. And Huntsman has staked his political future on New Hampshire

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