Republican presidential candidate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will stop by Huntsman’s breakfast fundraiser at the Country Club of Virginia.

McDonnell and the former Utah governor will speak alone before the event, McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin confirmed late Tuesday.

“The governor looks forward to welcoming Governor Huntsman to Virginia, and [Huntsman is] running a positive, ideas-driven campaign,’’ Martin said. McDonnell is “always pleased to see candidates taking a strong interest in the commonwealth. This state will play an important role in the 2012 race.”

McDonnell’s job approval ratings make him one of the most popular governors in the nation. Several presidential candidates have asked him for his endorsement.


Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

McDonnell has spoken to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich several times and talks to Texas Gov. Rick Perry often. He has spoken to Huntsman, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum once over the years.

Romney was in Richmond last week to raise money, but McDonnell canceled his appearance at his fundraiser after the shooting at Virginia Tech.

Romney and Gingrich came to Virginia to help McDonnell during his 2009 gubernatorial campaign.