Matt Salmon doubts Kari Lake could win Arizona gubernatorial race in general election
PHOENIX — Former congressman Matt Salmon said Thursday he doesn’t think Kari Lake would win the general election for governor in Arizona if she were to get past Tuesday’s primary.
“I can’t see independents going her way, or Republicans,” Matt Salmon told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show.
Salmon said one reason why is Lake’s consistent criticism of the late Sen. John McCain, adding there are still a lot of Republicans that respect McCain.
“She gets into the general, a lot of those people are going to desert her and I just don’t see how she reaches into the middle,” Salmon said.
“This is a state where Kyrsten Sinema won the general election not so long ago, and Mark Kelly not too long after that. I just think that it’s going to have to be somebody that appeals to the masses and I don’t think Kari Lake can do that.”
Salmon dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for governor in Arizona in June and shortly after put his support behind Lake opponent Karrin Taylor Robson.
He trailed the two frontrunners in polling and said he decided to bow out in order to prevent Lake from winning.
“I didn’t believe that there was a way for me to win and I believed that by my staying in the race, the chances were pretty darn good Kari Lake would be the nominee and I couldn’t live with that,” Salmon said.
Despite saying Lake winning the Republican nomination would be a “big mistake for Arizona,” Salmon would support her in the November general election.
“That’s a really, really tough decision because I don’t think Kari Lake is real in any way shape or form,” Salmon said. “I think the only way that we don’t win the governorship is by nominating Kari Lake.”
Salmon said Democratic candidate and frontrunner for the party’s nomination Katie Hobbs would be horrible as Arizona’s governor and accused her of being an extremist.
“It’s one of those things where you hold your nose,” Salmon said of supporting Lake if she were to go against Hobbs.