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Former Republican congressman Matt Salmon reentered the political arena in his bid for Arizona governor with a top endorsement from a leading conservative Political Action Committee (PAC) Wednesday.
Club for Growth PAC threw its weight behind the latest candidate to seek the 2022 governorship as Gov. Doug Ducey’s second term comes to an end.
The conservative PAC – which has already endorsed the reelection of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – successfully pushed 80 percent of its candidates across the finish line in 2020.
“Arizonans can count on Matt Salmon to build a strong economy for all Arizonans and protect their hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” the PAC’s president David McIntosh said. “We look forward to supporting his campaign to be the next Arizona Governor.”
Salmon announced his candidacy Tuesday by reminding voters of his career in conservative politics and reaffirming where he stands on Republican talking points.
“I’m 100% pro-life. I was A-rated by the NRA. And I believe in strong borders and an Arizona-first agenda,” Salmon said in a video launching his bid for governor. “But today, the Arizona values we cherish, they’re under attack from Washington, from liberals here at home. Open borders and closed classrooms. Crushing tax hikes and socialism. Censorship and cancel culture. Radical Democrats are pushing the most far-left agenda in our lifetime. We can’t allow liberal politicians to turn Arizona into California.”
Salmon got his start in Arizona politics by serving as a state senator in 1991 before winning a seat in congress in 1994.
He left congress in 2000 and ran for governor in 2002, losing by less than 12,000 votes to Democrat Janet Napolitano, according to AZ Central.
Arizona’s governorship has been held by a Republican since 2009, but the state trended blue in the 2020 general election.
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President Biden flipped the state from 2016 when Donald Trump secured Arizona in his presidential election.
Sen. Mark Kelly also flipped his seat blue by beating out Martha McSally in a special election.
While no seats in the House election were flipped by either Democrats or Republicans, progressive candidates maintained their majority in Arizona by holding onto five of the state’s nine congressional seats – which could mean a tough campaign ahead for Salmon.
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