Washington (CNN) – Just days before Jon Huntsman is set to become the latest candidate to enter the Republican presidential field, the former U.S. ambassador to China is canceling a Friday speech before the influential Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans due to a bad cold.
Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller confirmed that due to illness the future candidate could not make a Thursday plane to deliver the speech in New Orleans before the major gathering of conservative activists.
Instead his wife, Mary Kaye, and two daughters will be traveling to the event and will meet with supporters, Miller said, but Mrs. Huntsman will not give a speech.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, businessman Herman Cain, Reps. Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann, former senator Rick Santorum and Texas Governor Rick Perry will be speaking to the conference, which gets underway Thursday night. Former Governors Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty decided not to attend.
Miller said at this point the cold is not expected to have any impact on Huntsman's scheduled announcement next week of his presidential candidacy.
Huntsman was in Washington Wednesday night for a fundraiser.
He is set to launch his campaign next Tuesday at Liberty State Park in New Jersey with the Statue of Liberty as the backdrop. Huntsman will follow the announcement with a tour where he will travel to politically key states. He also has a series of fundraisers across the country on tap, a source close to Huntsman confirmed to CNN. Beginning in New York Tuesday night, he will also hold at least 18 money events the next two weeks in South Carolina, Florida, his home state of Utah, California, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and Massachusetts before ending the swing in New York on June 30th.
The key second quarter for fundraising wraps up at the end of the month, and many of the Republican presidential hopefuls are working to have impressive totals to report for the period.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.
- You can follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @KevinBohnCNN.