Matt Salmon leaves race for Arizona governor

Matt Salmon for Governor

By Stacey Barchenger |Arizona Republic

Former Arizona congressman Matt Salmon, a longtime figure in state Republican politics who barely lost a bid for governor 20 years ago, announced Tuesday he would end his campaign for the GOP nomination for governor. 

Salmon, 64, announced he would leave the race barely a week before early voting begins, acknowledging he trailed two other GOP candidates who held a lead he couldn’t close.  

“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. 2nd, 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, of Mesa, is a small-government, low-tax conservative who jumped from the state Senate to serve five terms over two stints in Washington, D.C., where his legacy includes helping start the House Freedom Caucus, which includes the most conservative members of Congress.  

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