Matt Salmon has been a prominent figure in Arizona Republican politics for decades. Including as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He also, at one point, very nearly became the state's governor.

More recently, Salmon had been taking another run at a gubernatorial campaign. He was one of several candidates vying for the 2022 Republican nomination in the Arizona governor's race. Unlike before, he was unable to capture the nomination this time around.

Drops out of the Republican primary race

Matt Salmon has withdrawn from the Republican primary for governor of Arizona.

His exit from the race leaves two major candidates hoping to become the Republican nominee. One is Karrin Taylor Robson. Robson is a former Arizona Board of Regents member and a staffer for U.S. President George H.W. Bush. The other is Kari Lake, a former news anchor who has peddled bizarre and baseless conspiracy theories.

Salmon is not the first Republican to drop out. Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee left the governor's race in favor of seeking re-election to her current post. Businessman Steve Gaynor also withdrew his candidacy.

The Arizona Republic indicates that Salmon's move is meant to consolidate support for Robson. But to a certain extent, the damage might already be done. As noted by Axios, Salmon is dropping out too late for his name to be removed from the ballot.

Meaning in all likelihood, he'll still get some votes. Whether or not they might have gone for Robson or Lake is anybody's guess.

On the Democratic side, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is favored to win the nomination. Meanwhile, Barry Hess has already locked up the nod for the Libertarian Party.

Arizona has emerged as one of the most competitive swing states in the country.

As such, the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election is expected to be close. Republican Doug Ducey currently holds the office but is term-limited from running for another consecutive term.

Salmon was narrowly defeated for governor in 2002

Matt Salmon is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. In his youth, he would move to Tempe, Arizona, and later graduate from high school in nearby Mesa.

Eventually, he became a top executive with the communications company Mountain Bell and its successor, U.S. West.

In 1990, Salmon launched a campaign for a seat in the Arizona Senate. In the Republican primary, he would defeat incumbent Senator Jerry Gillespie. Salmon would win the general election that year and be re-elected in 1992. That year, he also became assistant majority leader of the Senate.

Salmon was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 from the 1st District of Arizona. Democratic incumbent Sam Coppersmith was not running for re-election. Salmon was re-elected twice from the 1st District. He didn't run for another term in 2000 and was succeeded by fellow Republican Jeff Flake.

Flake would later be elected to the United States Senate. He currently serves as the United States ambassador to Turkey.

In 2002, Matt Salmon was the Republican nominee for governor of Arizona. Much like Doug Ducey in 2022, Republican incumbent Jane Dee Hull was term-limited. Salmon would lose the general election to Democratic State Attorney General Janet Napolitano. Napolitano later became the United States secretary of homeland security.

From 2005 to 2007, Salmon chaired the Arizona chapter of the Republican party. In 2012, he made a comeback to the United States Congress. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona's 5th District this time. He was re-elected in 2014 before opting once again to leave Congress behind.