Former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon withdraws from Arizona governor’s race

Former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon withdrew from the Republican primary for governor of Arizona on June 28, 2022, saying that “primary voters deserve more than having their votes split.” Salmon endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson the following day.

Club for Growth and FreedomWorks had endorsed Salmon, along with U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and U.S. Reps. Andy Biggs (R- Ariz.), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Salmon’s withdrawal came after the deadline for his name to be removed from the ballot.

In addition to Taylor Robson, Kari Lake, Scott Neely, and Paola Tulliani-Zen are on the ballot for the August 2 primary. Incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is term-limited.

Lake and Taylor Robson lead in endorsements, polls, and funding.

Lake, who formerly worked as a news anchor for Fox 10 News in Phoenix, Arizona, said she is “running … on a platform of common sense conservatism dedicated to individual liberties, low taxes, limited regulation, and protecting Arizona’s great Western heritage.” Lake said, ” The ongoing border crisis is nothing less than a national security and humanitarian disaster. … I will not wait for Washington’s approval or rely on the empty promises of far-away politicians to do what’s best for Arizonans.” She said, “After I take my hand off the Bible, we are going to issue a declaration of invasion. We are going to finish President Trump’s wall, and we are going to send our armed National Guard to the border and stop people from coming across.”

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Lake, along with U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), the Conservative Political Action Coalition, and the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police.

Taylor Robson, a former member of the Arizona Board of Regents and founder of a land-use strategy firm, said, “We need a leader with a record of accomplishment, not a career talker with the teleprompter.” She said, “I built my own businesses. I do more than talk for a living.” Taylor Robson said that border security would be her first priority and that she would “surge National Guard troops to the border, equip the Border Strike Force with the latest technology, and finish the wall.” She also said, “I am uniquely qualified to lead this state into the future and to secure and protect Arizona’s water. My experience includes decades managing land, water and other natural resource issues, as well as working with government at all levels.”

Former Arizona Govs. Jan Brewer (R) and John Fife Symington III (R) endorsed Taylor Robson, as did former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann (R), and Americans For Prosperity.

With regard to the 2020 presidential election, Lake said that President Joe Biden (D) “lost the election and he shouldn’t be in the White House.” In a campaign ad, Lake said, “If you’re watching this ad right now, it means you’re in the middle of watching a fake news program. You know how to know it’s fake? Because they won’t even cover the biggest story out there, the rigged election of 2020.” In an interview with Fox News, Lake said, “… [W]e had a fraudulent election, a corrupt election, and we have an illegitimate president sitting in the White House.”

Taylor Robson said, “Joe Biden may be the president, but the election wasn’t fair. States across the country changed their voting rules in the weeks and months before the election; the mainstream media generally refused to cover stories harmful to Joe Biden; and Big Tech actively suppressed conservative voices. No wonder a sizable percentage of Arizona Republicans still feel the way they do about 2020.” She said, “I am focused on 2022 because the left is 10 steps ahead of us. … I will do everything I can to ensure Arizona is in Republican hands for the 2024 election when we can take back the White House.”

Patrick Finerd, Carlos Roldan, and Alex Schatz are running as write-ins in the primary.

Major independent observers rate the general election as a toss-up. Ducey was first elected in 2014 and won re-election in 2018 by a margin of 14 percentage points. Repulicans have held trifecta control of Arizona state government since 2009.