Ok, Now It’s a Bit Crowded
By Alexander Lomax
In my last post, I talked about the Secretary of State race and how there are two strong options on the Democratic side. Well as any behavioral psychologist will tell you, giving a consumer too many different options is often negative, and in the same vein, there is such thing as too crowded of a field. And it feels like that has now become an issue when it comes to who Republicans will choose for Governor, now that Matt Salmon has jumped into the race.
Most longtime Arizona political followers know Salmon as the former east valley Congressman who retired from Congress in 2016 to spend more time with his family (which oddly enough, wasn’t followed by some sort of sex scandal). That said, being completely out of politics for 5+ years and having little statewide presence in this state, with so many new voters arriving since then, is a significant liability; he has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to name recognition with the average voter.
However, Salmon had the prescience to lend his support to Andy Biggs to succeed him in that seat. With Biggs’s 27 vote victory of Christine Jones in the ’16 primary for Arizona’s 5th Congressional seat, Salmon did his future self a major favor, and assuming that Biggs comes out in full force for Salmon, it boosts his chances significantly.
Author’s note: for me personally, an endorsement from former Publishing Sweepstakes $10 million Winner Andy Biggs is a flashing neon sign to RUN from a candidate, but I am not a Republican primary voter, and I also recognize that he has significant sway and popularity within the right-wing of the AZ GOP.
He enters a very crowded field however; albeit one with candidates with weaknesses. Former local Fox anchor Kari Lake jumped into the race, but any momentum that she may have had seems to have been whisked away by the fact that she was recently a strong Democrat. She seems to resemble another Rodney Glassman without the benefit of an extremely wealthy family. Kimberly Yee is also in the race, attempting to follow the Doug Ducey pathway to the governor’s office, but her campaign seems to be little more than parroting Donald Trump but without the charisma.
The one below-the-radar candidate that seems like they may have the goods to truly compete would be Karrin Taylor-Robson. Her zoning and land use credentials no doubt provide a strong fundraising Rolodex, and with her time at the Arizona Board of Regents, she has the credentials to speak intelligently to general election voters about our educational system.
That said, both Salmon and Taylor-Robson have a lot of work to do when it comes to building name recognition with Arizona voters, an area where Yee already has a mighty head start. So for now, advantage Yee.