Arizona GOP gubernatorial hopeful Matt Salmon says political experience matters

Jan 19, 2022, 11:59 AM

PHOENIX — With Kimberly Yee dropping out of the Arizona gubernatorial race earlier this week, Matt Salmon became the only major Republican candidate with a robust political background.

It’s a point he hopes resonates with voters who will replace the term-limited Doug Ducey, who served as state treasurer before being elected governor in 2014.

“You’ve got to elect somebody that actually knows what they’re doing,” Salmon told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.

“Parachuting into the top job in the state is not something for somebody that’s never proven themselves before.”

Salmon can lean on his time serving in the U.S. House for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District. He has also served in the Arizona Senate.

His fellow major Republican challengers — Kari Lake, Karrin Taylor Robson and Steve Gaynor — can’t produce the same political résumé.

Lake is a veteran TV anchor and Taylor Robson serves as secretary of the Arizona Board of Regents and founded a land use strategy company. Gaynor is a career businessman.

Salmon equated electing a candidate with limited political experience to rolling the dice, noting actor-turned California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former President Donald Trump.

“Most candidates that have never been in the crucible, that haven’t had to prove anything, a lot of them say one thing and do another,” Salmon said.

“You’ve got to look at a person’s record. What have they done before? That’s the best predictor of what a person is going to do.”

Salmon expects a “spirited” Republican primary.

Lake has so far has been the favorite, according to pollsters.

OH Predictive Insights’ survey from late November showed Lake led the GOP primary with 28%, followed by Salmon with 11%.

“I don’t just talk the talk, I walk the walk and I’m not going to be somebody you have to bet on,” Salmon said.

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Arizona GOP gubernatorial hopeful Matt Salmon says political experience matters