Gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon wants to turn back Arizona’s blue shift
PHOENIX — Republican Matt Salmon said one of his motivations in running for governor is to avoid another high-profile Arizona political position from flipping to Democratic control.
“I just really worry that if we’re not on our toes, Democrats are going to take the whole trifecta — both U. S. Senate seats and the governorship — and we will turn into a blue state,” Salmon told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday.
“If those values that the Biden administration is espousing on behalf of the Democrat Party is what the future for Arizona is, it scares the heck out of me and I’m not going to sit by and watch that happen.”
Arizona has seen a larger Democrat influence since Salmon retired from the U.S. House in 2016 after a 25-year political career.
Both U.S. Senate seats for Arizona have flipped to Democratic control since 2018, giving the state two blue senators for the first time since 1953.
Arizona hasn’t had a Democrat as governor since Janet Napolitano in 2009. Salmon, who announced his candidacy Wednesday, was Napolitano’s challenger in 2002 but lost by about 12,000 votes in the general election.
Salmon said he’s also concerned that California residents moving to the Grand Canyon State are bringing with them less conservative values.
Salmon believes Arizona is a state that “stands for freedom, prosperity and conservative values.”
He cited the economy, border and COVID-19 as main issues he’d tackle as a governor replacing the term-limited Republican Doug Ducey.
“We’ve got lots of folks moving from California and we welcome them, but we just hope that the reason they’re leaving California isn’t what they’re trying to bring politically to Arizona,” Salmon said.
Salmon is the sixth candidate to declare and the fourth Republican. Partymates Kimberly Yee, Arizona treasurer; former TV news anchor Kari Lake; and Karrin Taylor Robson of the Arizona Board of Regents, previously declared they were running for the job.