GOP Candidate Matt Salmon Drops Out of Governor’s Race

GOP Candidate Matt Salmon Drops Out of Governor’s Race

By Corinne Murdock |

On Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon ended his campaign, citing low polling numbers. Salmon received an average of 12 to 14 percent of the vote in recent polls against his top two contenders, Karrin Taylor Robson and Kari Lake. 

“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,” stated Salmon. “Republican primary voters deserve more than having their votes split on August 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 is the latest to drop out in the crowded Republican primary. Steve Gaynor withdrew at the end of April, also citing low polling numbers against top contenders Salmon, Lake, and Robson.

“This week I received survey results that showed I would have a high probability of winning against each of the other candidates in a head-to-head matchup,” wrote Gaynor. “In a three-way race, I would have a reasonable probability of winning. However, in a four-way race, my chance of winning is low enough to be unrealistic.”

State Treasurer Kimberly Yee withdrew at the beginning of this year, deciding to run for re-election to her current office instead.

That leaves Robson, Lake, Scott Neely, and Paola Tulliani-Zen, along with several write-ins: Patrick Finerd, Carlos Roldan, and Alex Schatz. Robson and Lake are the top two contenders in the field at present. 

The most recent poll from Trafalgar showed Lake with a 12-point lead over Robson.

However, Data Orbital polling from earlier this month revealed Lake with a four-point lead over Robson. The pollsters have an A/B rating from FiveThirtyEight. 

Another poll from OH Predictive Insights this month showed Lake with an even smaller margin of two points. 

Real Clear Politics averaged Lake at a seven-point lead ahead of Robson.

The Democratic primary is far smaller: Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is up against businessman and career politician Marco Lopez. Former state legislator Aaron Lieberman withdrew last month.

OH Predictive Insights has consistently shown Hobbs with a comfortable lead over Lopez. In May, the pollsters found that 43 percent of those surveyed would vote for Hobbs, while only 9 percent would vote for Lopez. However, 40 percent reported that they were undecided. 

Predictive polling on who would win the governor’s race consistently showed Hobbs with a lead.

According to a May poll from GQR Research which Hobbs sponsored, the secretary of state led Robson by one point and Lake by five points. GQR has a B rating from FiveThirtyEight.

Data Orbital polling from February, which has an A/B rating, reported slightly different leads: Hobbs would lead Robson by five points and Salmon by one point, but Lake would lead Hobbs by one point. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Let’s Zero Out Arizona’s Income Tax—And End Tax Day Forever

Let’s Zero Out Arizona’s Income Tax—And End Tax Day Forever

By Matt Salmon |

If Tax Day were held in early November instead of April 15th, I doubt Republicans would lose a close election again.

The financial squeeze of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) filing deadline always feels personal. But it especially hurts this year. On top of President Joe Biden’s proposal to hike taxes on everything from capital gains to married couples, families across the country are suffering from another hidden tax: historic inflation.

The nationwide Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 7.9 percent as of last month. In Arizona, where the average price of gas now exceeds $4.60 per gallon, the Phoenix area is suffering from a CPI increase closer to 11 percent. Wherever you look, workers’ paychecks just aren’t going as far as they used to.

It’s wrong.

Florida and Texas have it right. People deserve to keep the money they earn. That’s why, if I’m elected as Arizona’s next governor, I plan to eliminate our state’s income tax once and for all.

Republicans need to stay on offense. Democrats in the Grand Canyon State dream of turning us into California. They have been aggressive in their efforts to do so, from pushing a 78 percent hike on small businesses at the state level to ramping up tax and fee increases at the local level.

Conservatives cannot allow ourselves to be pacified by simply stopping these bad ideas. We should feel equally comfortable moving in the opposite direction. And so far, thanks to smart policymaking by Governor Doug Ducey and our state legislators, we have been successful in doing so.

Over the past few years, Arizona has indexed the state income tax rates to inflation; conformed the state income tax to the Internal Revenue Code after passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; exempted military retirement from the state income tax; and passed into law a 2.5 percent flat tax representing the single largest tax cut in our state’s 110-year history.

Along the way, Democrats repeatedly warned that further reductions in the income tax would plunge us into turmoil and bankrupt government services. In reality, our state budget is in better shape than ever, with $5.27 billion in projected surplus revenue this year and plenty of room to return money to taxpayers.

Our economy is booming, too. We experienced the third-fastest economic recovery in the United States coming out of the pandemic, and we are expected to add more than 720,000 jobs over the next ten years.

These are the fruits of freedom. It is well past time to go further.

By eliminating the state income tax, we will create a business environment so welcoming to new investment that we’ll be beating businesses and entrepreneurs off with a stick. These job creators won’t pay any income tax. But they will pay property taxes, sales taxes, and more—and our tax revenues, along with our economy, will continue to grow hand-in-hand.

The bottom line is that hardworking families deserve to keep the money they earn, especially in inflationary times like these when the American Dream feels so far out of reach.

Zeroing out this tax—and ringing in Arizona’s final Tax Day—is not just the smart thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. I am the only candidate for governor who has endorsed it. And, as our next governor, it’s exactly what we will do.

Matt Salmon, a former U.S. representative and co-founder of the Freedom Caucus, is a Republican candidate for governor of Arizona.

Gubernatorial Candidate Matt Salmon On Border Visit: Designate Cartels As Terrorists

Gubernatorial Candidate Matt Salmon On Border Visit: Designate Cartels As Terrorists

By Corinne Murdock |

Mexico’s cartels should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) for their role in President Joe Biden’s border crisis, according to governor-hopeful and previous congressman Matt Salmon. If cartels were designated as FTOs, federal prosecutors would have more power and reach to take action on them and their allies, such as drug traffickers or foreign nationals.

Previous President Donald Trump toyed with the idea of designating Mexican cartels as FTOs but scrapped it after multiple advisors recommended against it, suggesting that doing so would hurt relations with Mexico. Trump’s initial inclination to classify Mexican cartels as FTOs was prompted by the 2019 massacre of nine dual citizens, a Mormon family, by suspected drug trafficking members.

Federal law lists three criteria necessary to classify something as an FTO: it must be foreign, engaged in or planning terrorist activities, and posing a threat to the country’s national security or any nationals. Such a designation would fall under the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ purview. Texas Governor Greg Abbott suggested the same back in April in a letter to Mayorkas.

According to federal law, terrorist activities are:

  • the highjacking or sabotage of any conveyance (including an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle)
  • the seizing or detaining, and threatening to kill, injure, or continue to detain, another individual in order to compel a third person (including a governmental organization) to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the individual seized or detained
  • A violent attack upon an internationally protected person (as defined in section 1116(b)(4) of title 18) or upon the liberty of such a person.
  • An assassination.
  • The use of any biological agent, chemical agent, or nuclear weapon or device, or explosive, firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device (other than for mere personal monetary gain), with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property.
  • A threat, attempt, or conspiracy to do any of the foregoing.

Salmon’s suggestion occurred during an interview with AZ Free News about his latest visit to the border in Vekol Valley last week. Salmon confirmed that he’s visited various parts of the border at least over ten times, including Yuma and Sierra Vista.

Americans learned last week that Biden drove by the border once 13 years ago. Other than that, the president has reportedly never visited the border in his life.

Salmon recounted to AZ Free News that the desert was covered with so much trash – like discarded clothes and water bottles – that it looked like a “rummage sale.” He also remarked on how the signs warning visitors of human and drug smuggling were riddled with bullet holes.

Most of the discarded clothing was similar, said Salmon: piles of camouflage gear and “carpet shoes,” which are cloth shoes that illegal immigrants and cartel members slide over their tennis shoes or boots to muffle their steps and cover up their tracks.

The discarded clothes are left behind by the historic number of illegal immigrants: 1.7 million. That’s only counting encounters and apprehensions, not “got-aways:” those never encountered at all. Leaked information from anonymous border patrol agents revealed that around 30,000 to 40,000 got-aways have occurred each month since Biden took office.

The cartels aren’t just bringing illegal immigrants. They’re trafficking drugs. The vast majority of fentanyl in the country comes from across the southern border. The effects of this are already evident in Pima County: their proximity to the border has made fentanyl overdoses the leading cause of death for people under 19. Cartels will sometimes have the migrants

“This is a human rights crisis of epic proportions,” said Salmon. “Why [is the Biden Administration] turning a blind eye to all this human suffering that’s going on at the border?”

Salmon knows of one family whose athlete son died from an overdose after unintentionally purchasing a muscle relaxer laced with fentanyl on the internet.

The gubernatorial candidate expressed his disgust for how the entire Biden Administration continues to ignore the border crisis.

“I’ve been very vocal that Mayorkas should step down and resign in shame. This has all happened on his watch,” asserted Salmon. “The current administration under Biden is dismal. They won’t recognize that this is a crisis.”

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Gubernatorial Candidate Matt Salmon Spearheaded Relief Effort For Flood Victims

Gubernatorial Candidate Matt Salmon Spearheaded Relief Effort For Flood Victims

By Corinne Murdock |

Within 24 hours of the Gila Bend flooding tragedy, Republican governor-hopeful Matt Salmon organized relief efforts to flood victims. Salmon helped raise over $6,000 in cash and filled a gymnasium with resources like water, food, and clothes.

In an interview with AZ Free News, Salmon explained that he and his team sprung into action immediately. They appeared on local radio stations and sent out tweets, emails, and a variety of other messages to pool resources. Their team also received help from the Mesa Republican Women’s Club and community members.

“It was really wonderful. We had a lot of the college Republicans that came and helped us out, sitting there in the hot sun all day collecting both money and equipment,” recounted Salmon.

Salmon then drove a U-haul truck to the Silver Star Theatre in Mesa to gather the donations; his wife, Nancy, assisted them all day. Gila Bend Mayor Chris Riggs told Salmon that cash would be more helpful to many families, since the flooding had left them without a place to sleep.

“It was really wonderful. We had a lot of the college Republicans that came and helped us out, sitting there in the hot sun all day collecting both money and equipment,” recounted Salmon. “It was really a team effort.”

In addition to cash donations, they also collected cleanup equipment like shovels, wheelbarrows, mops, plastic bags, and gloves. As the donations were collected, Salmon shared that one of the city council members showed him around to observe the devastation up close.

Salmon told AZ Free News that he was glad that they could offer immediate assistance to the many families affected by the historic flood.

“It really did my heart good that we could do something to help give back and help these folks. There were over 100 homes that were flooded out and destroyed,” explained Salmon. “Many lost everything they had.”

According to reports, two individuals perished as a result of the flash flood.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to