Arizona’s Matt Salmon Will Not Seek Re-Election

Salmon said some of his colleagues have been pressing him to run for Senate against McCain. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Salmon said some of his colleagues have been pressing him to run for Senate against McCain. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted February 25, 2016 at 10:06am

Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, a fifth-term Republican, said Thursday he will not run for re-election this fall, lending his support to state Senate President Andy Biggs to replace him.  

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Andy has decided to run for my seat and continue the fight to return our nation to the values that made it great,” Salmon said in a statement. “As Senate President, he has proven his commitment to advancing legislation that will make government smaller, more efficient and more accountable to the people.”  

Biggs, a conservative whom Arizona Republican political operatives described as coming from the libertarian brand of Republicanism, is not likely to be alone in the race for the now open 5th District seat, which is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.  

At least two other Republicans are said to be considering their own campaigns, including Denny Barney, a Maricopa County supervisor, and Kirk Adams, the former state House speaker who is now Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s chief of staff.

Salmon, a co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, had considered challenging Republican Sen. John McCain for re-election. Despite his retirement, Salmon said he “won’t be stopping my fight for our nation’s future,” but said, in Washington, he “missed far too many opportunities to spend time with my family.”