Voters may have the opportunity to choose between two different Mormon candidates for President of the United States in 2012: Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Either Republican could become the nation's first Mormon president.
Joseph Smith, who founded of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, became the first Mormon to run for president back in 1844. His campaign ended tragically in assassination, which might explain why it took so long for another member of his church to step up to the plate. If you are interested in learning more about Smith's pioneering presidential campaign, I recommend reading Jake Tapper's fascinating account of his candidacy.
Prior to Mitt Romney's 2008 primary campaign, a total of nine Mormons had run for president, according to MormonMatters.org. Two ran under the Republican banner: George Romney (Mitt Romney's father) in 1968 and Orrin Hatch in 2000. Only one ran as a Democrat: Morris "Mo" Udall in 1976. Others campaigned as third party candidates.
A 1893 engraving by Edward Stevenson of the Angel Moroni delivering the Golden Plates to Joseph Smith in 1827. From Reminiscences of Joseph, the Prophet (Salt Lake City: Stevenson, 1893), 21.