Campaign

Former Rep. Matt Salmon launches gubernatorial bid in Arizona

Former Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) is jumping into the 2022 race for Arizona governor, making another run for an office that he narrowly lost two decades ago. 

A former member of the state Senate, Salmon first won a seat in the U.S. House in 1994 before stepping down in 2001. He went on to run for Arizona governor in 2002, but ultimately lost to Democrat Janet Napolitano by fewer than 12,000 votes.

Salmon returned to the House in 2013 before retiring after the 2016 election. 

In a statement announcing his candidacy for governor, Salmon cast Arizona as "under attack" from Democrats both in the state and in Washington, D.C., rattling off a list of conservative grievances ranging from "cancel culture" to the threat of "socialism."

"We can't allow liberal politicians to turn Arizona into California," Salmon said. "We must protect the values that have made Arizona a beacon of opportunity."

Salmon, 63, is the fourth Republican to jump into the race to succeed Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who is term limited, next year, joining Arizona state Treasurer Kimberly Yee, former TV news anchor Kari Lake and Arizona Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson. 

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and former Arizona state House Speaker Kirk Adams are among Republicans said to be eyeing the governor's mansion, as well. Salmon endorsed Biggs to replace him in the House five years ago. 

So far, two Democrats have entered the governor's race, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and former Nogales Mayor Marco Lopez. 

This article was updated at 2:58 p.m.

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