ARIZONA NEWS

Former GOP congressman Matt Salmon drops out of race for Arizona governor

Jun 28, 2022, 1:29 PM | Updated: 3:33 pm

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — With about a week until early voting for Arizona’s primary election, Matt Salmon pulled out of Republican race for governor on Tuesday.

The former congressman said he made the decision because he didn’t think there was a clear path to the GOP nomination.

Real Clear Politics’ poll average has Kari Lake at 31%, Karrin Taylor Robson at 24% and Salmon at 14%.

“Unfortunately, numbers are numbers, and it has become clear to me that the path to a first-place victory is no longer a realistic possibility,” Salmon said in a statement.

“Republican primary voters deserve more than having their votes split on Aug. 2, and so I am leaving this race for the same reason that I entered it: Because it is what’s best for the people of Arizona.”

Salmon’s departure essentially turns the GOP primary into a two-candidate race between Lake and Taylor Robson.

“Matt has been a leading voice in the conservative movement for decades,” Taylor Robson said in a statement. “I thank him for running an honorable campaign for governor.

“Arizona faces big challenges, and I have no doubt Matt will continue to find ways to serve this state he loves.”

Scott Neely and Paola Tulliani-Zen are still in the running, but have consistently polled at numbers lower than the other candidates.

Mail-in ballots for the primary go out on July 6.

Salmon, who also ran for governor in 2002, said he would announce his next steps in the coming days.

“I am so proud of everything that we have been able to accomplish together over the past year,” he said.

“I’ve been blessed with the best staff members, volunteers and activists in Arizona, and I will forever be grateful for the tireless work and heart-felt passion that they gave to this campaign.”

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Former GOP congressman Matt Salmon drops out of race for Arizona governor