Republican Chuck Gray issued the following statement to supporters on Tuesday, December 27, 2011:
In February of this year, when I announced my run for Congress, the congressional district lines were not drawn and I had no immediate challengers. As the campaign progressed, others entered the race but their physical residences were so far removed from my own that it was generally thought that we would be running in different congressional districts.
The district lines are now drawn and have pitted three good men against each other. And while I was the first to enter the race, I cannot permit the conservative vote in the East Valley to be split in a way that allows a less conservative voice to prevail. Our next Congressman will likely be our voice for many years to come.
It is therefore with the support of my wife, friends and family that I announce my withdrawal from the race for Congress in hopes that the conservative voice that I have represented all these years be united behind a single candidate.
I have, in the course of my race, thoroughly investigated the backgrounds and voting records of my challengers. I have known both of them for many years. There is one candidate that I feel most closely reflects my conservative values and voting record. And while I have not discussed my decision to withdraw, with either of my challengers or their campaigns, I do hope that my endorsement of Matt Salmon to represent the East Valley in Congress will be accepted in the spirit it is given.
Matt has a very conservative voting record and I know he will represent the East Valley in the conservative manner we have come to expect. He has my full support.
I want to thank my supporters. They have worked hard and they have championed the founding principles of liberty at every turn. They are the best. I love them dearly. I encourage my supporters to embrace Matt Salmon as they have embraced me. I must set aside my own desire to serve and put the future of this country first. I hope my supporters will do the same. For the good of the nation, I seek to unite the conservative vote.