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Former Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon (R) announced Tuesday that he is running for the seat he retired from more than a decade ago, making it possible that he could succeed the Congressman who succeeded him.
After being elected in 1994, Salmon kept his pledge to serve just three terms and left Congress in 2000. His retirement opened the door for now-Rep. Jeff Flake (R), who has announced he is running for Senate next year.
Salmon will likely face a competitive primary field in the solidly GOP 6th district. State Speaker Kirk Adams is strongly considering running, and former state Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray is already in the race. State insiders believe state Senate President Russell Pearce, who was also looking at the race, will not run.
“I want to return to Congress because I believe that, now more than ever, the East Valley needs experienced leadership who will represent our interests in Washington,” Salmon said in a statement. “Over the past few years, we have watched as our taxpayer dollars have grown government and bailed out Wall Street.”
Salmon lost a close 2002 governor’s race to Democrat Janet Napolitano, now secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He previously served four years in the state Senate and was chairman of the state party.