PHOENIX - Former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon on Wednesday threw his support behind Republican Arizona governor candidate Karrin Taylor Robson over former TV news personality Kari Lake, a decision that came a day after Salmon dropped his own primary bid for governor.
Salmon dropped out after determining he had no chance of pulling out a victory in the GOP primary and said he did not want to drain votes from Robson.
Lake has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and is widely seen as the race frontrunner, but Robson has been gaining ground as she wins backing from traditional Republicans and GOP groups and pours money into a months-long advertising effort.
Salmon released a statement on June 29, announcing his endorsement of Robson.
"To the Arizonans who supported my campaign: We may not have won this Republican primary, but our shared values can still emerge victorious if we stand behind a candidate with the temperament and experience to govern Arizona. Karrin Taylor Robson is that candidate," he said.
Salmon was widely seen as trailing Lake and Robson, a developer who resigned from the board that oversees Arizona’s three public universities when she decided to run for the Republican nomination for governor.
Primary ballots for the Aug. 2 primary will be mailed out next Wednesday, and Salmon’s name will still appear on them. Two lesser-known Republicans will also appear on the ballot.
Lake, Robson and candidates Paola Tulliani Zen and Scott Neely are set to participate in a televised debate sponsored by Arizona’s Clean Elections Commission on Wednesday evening.
Term limits bar current Republican Gov. Doug Ducey from running again in 2022. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and former Nogales Mayor Marco Lopez are seeking the Democratic nomination.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.
Arizona Republican Governor candidates
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