(CNN) – If Jon Huntsman formally jumps into the race for the White House, he'll likely base his campaign headquarters in Orlando, Florida, a Republican source confirms to CNN.
The source points out that Huntsman's wife grew up in the Orlando area and still has family there, including her parents.
If Huntsman does announce his candidacy, as is widely expected, and does base his campaign in Orlando, it's another sign of the large role Florida will play in the GOP primary process and the general election.
Florida's is an important battleground state and the Republican party's presidential nominating convention will be held in Tampa. The on-going controversy over when the state hold's its presidential primary is another sign of Florida's importance in campaign politics.
"Florida is by far and away the single most important state for the GOP and its presidential contenders, both in the primary and in the general election. If the eventual Republican nominee fails to win Florida, then President Obama is all but guaranteed reelection," GOP strategist Ford O'Connell told CNN.
News of the Huntsman HQ likely being located in Orlando was first reported by Politico's Mike Allen.
Huntsman stepped down as U.S. ambassador to China at the end of last month. Since then the former Utah governor traveled to South Carolina to meet with Nikki Haley, the state's popular GOP governor, and with other Republican lawmakers, strategists and activists, and also gave a commencement speech at the University of South Carolina. The state holds the first southern contest in the primary and caucus calendar.
Thursday Huntsman kicks off a five day campaign swing through New Hampshire, which holds the first primary in the road to the White House.
And early next month Huntsman will attend a major social conservative conference early next month in the nation's capitol. Huntsman will address the Faith and Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing on Friday June 3. Huntsman joins a large list of 2012 GOP White House candidates, and probable and possible hopefuls, speaking at the Faith and Freedom two-day gathering. They are former Massachusetts Gov. and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
–CNN Senior Political Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this story
–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn