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Former ASU VP of government affairs enters Arizona's 2022 gubernatorial race

Matt Salmon resigned from his positions with the University on Tuesday ahead of announcing his candidacy on Wednesday


People walk past the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.

Matt Salmon, ASU’s former vice president of government affairs, entered the 2022 gubernatorial race on Wednesday, launching his campaign with a promise to “uphold those values that have made Arizona great.”

Salmon, who also served as a professor at the School of Public Affairs in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, is returning to politics after retiring from public office in 2017.

Salmon previously served in the Arizona Senate from 1991 to 1995 and the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001 and again from 2013 to 2017. He unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002.

After retiring from public office, Salmon joined ASU as vice president of government affairs, a position in which he oversaw the University’s federal, state, community, tribal, Mexico and cultural relations. 

According to a University spokesperson, Salmon resigned from his positions on Tuesday ahead of announcing his campaign for governor.

Salmon is a staunch Republican, labeling himself a "proven and committed conservative fighter" on his website.

“I’m 100% pro-life. I was A-rated by the NRA. And I believe in strong borders and an Arizona-first agenda,” Salmon said in a video announcing his campaign. "But today, the Arizona values we cherish, they’re under attack from Washington and from liberals here at home." 

He added that Arizonans "can’t allow liberal politicians to turn Arizona into California."

Salmon joins Arizona treasurer Kimberly Yee, Arizona Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson, and former Fox 10 news anchor Kari Lake in the Republican primary.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and former Nogales Mayor Marco Lopez are seeking the Democratic nomination. 

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Reagan PriestPolitics Editor

Reagan Priest is the politics editor, leading coverage of ASU’s relationship to Arizona’s political entities. She previously worked as a social justice reporter for Cronkite News and currently works as a digital production intern at The Arizona Republic.

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