After ending Arizona governor bid, Matt Salmon endorses Karrin Taylor Robson

Jun 29, 2022, 8:37 AM | Updated: Nov 20, 2023, 3:22 pm

Matt Salmon, left, endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson on June 29, 2022, a day after he withdrew for Ariz...

Matt Salmon, left, endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson on June 29, 2022, a day after he withdrew for Arizona's Republican gubernatorial race. (Facebook Photos)

(Facebook Photos)

PHOENIX – A day after he ended his campaign to become the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona, Matt Salmon endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson in the race on Wednesday.

Salmon made the announcement during an appearance on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

“I believe that we’ve got to have somebody that actually has a track record of getting things done and somebody we can trust as a real true conservative like Karrin Taylor Robson,” he said.

“She’s been fighting for the conservative values that I care about deeply for a long, long time. She didn’t just come onto the scene when she decided to run for governor espousing conservative views.”

Salmon’s withdrawal, which came only eight days before the start of early voting, essentially turned the GOP primary into a two-candidate race between Taylor Robson and Kari Lake.

Taylor Robson welcomed Salmon’s support.

“Like me, Matt is a doer – not just a talker,” she said in a statement. “Kari Lake may have discovered God, Guns and the GOP just in time for her political campaign, but Matt and I have been fighting for decades for the conservative issues that matter: limited government; economic freedom; school choice; border security; and more.

“In the days and weeks ahead, I look forward to continuing that work with Matt Salmon at my side as we fight to keep Arizona leadership in conservative, steady hands.”

The race is close enough that Salmon’s supporters could make the difference if most of them move to the same candidate. Real Clear Politics’ poll tracking average had Lake at 31%, Taylor Robson at 24% and Salmon at 14.5% as of Wednesday morning.

Lake, the former Fox 10 news anchor endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has been the consistent polling front-runner, but her lead has been shrinking.

Taylor Robson, a businesswoman and former member of the Arizona Board of Regents, established herself as Lake’s top threat over the course of the campaign.

“I’ve got every confidence that she’ll be a great governor,” Salmon, who struggled to gain traction in the race despite name recognition as a former U.S. congressman, said of Taylor Robson.

Scott Neely and Paola Tulliani-Zen are also in the running, but they have barely made a blip in the polls to this point. Steve Gaynor had been in the race but withdrew in April. Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, couldn’t seek reelection because of term limits.

Because he pulled out so late, Salmon’s name will appear on the ballot for the Aug. 2 primary. The Democratic gubernatorial race is down two candidates, with Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs polling far ahead of former Nogales Mayor Marco Lopez.

Mail ballots start going out July 6 to voters who requested them or are on the Active Early Voter List. Some in-person voting centers open that day, too.

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After ending Arizona governor bid, Matt Salmon endorses Karrin Taylor Robson