Chuck Gray Endorses Matt Salmon for Congress

“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.” 

EAST VALLEY – Former Congressman and candidate for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District Matt Salmon today received the endorsement from former Arizona State Senator and congressional candidate Chuck Gray. Gray, a longtime East Valley conservative leader, released the following statement today in an email to his supporters:

“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.”

Salmon released the following statement in response to Gray’s endorsement:

“Without question, Chuck Gray is one of the most influential conservative voices in the East Valley and his surprise endorsement today is a great gift for a promising new year. I have known Chuck since our days in Boy Scouts, and have always valued his friendship and ideas on how to restore accountability and fiscal responsibility to Washington. I look forward to having him on our team as we begin 2012 ready to communicate our conservative message to every voter in the East Valley.”

About Matt Salmon 

Matt Salmon was first elected to the United States Congress in 1994 and served until 2000, honoring his term limit pledge. A proud conservative, Salmon was rated in the top five among all 535 members of the House and Senate by Citizen’s Against Government Waste for all six years he was in office. He is a lifetime member of the NRA with an A+ rating and also earned a 100% rating by the National Right to Life. He was also the proud recipient of the American Cancer Society’s “Top National Elected Official” award.

Matt Salmon has received endorsements from Arizona Congressman Trent Franks, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, South Dakota Senator John Thune, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49), Mayor Scott Smith (Mesa), Mayor Jay Tibshraeny (Chandler), Mayor Hugh Hallman (Tempe), Mayor John Insalaco (Apache Junction), Mayor Gail Barney (Queen Creek), former Arizona Congressman John Shadegg, Arizona State Senate Majority Leader Andy Biggs (LD22), State Senator John McComish (LD20), and State Representatives Eddie Farnsworth (LD22), Jeff Dial (LD20), and Bob Robson (LD20).

Chuck Gray Withdraws from CD-5 Contest, Endorses Matt Salmon

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.

Sincerely,

Chuck Gray

WFP Poll: Who do you want in the AZ-6 race? Kirk Adams, Travis Grantham, Matt Salmon, or Chuck Gray.

Kirk Adams, Travis Grantham, Matt Salmon, and Chuck Gray are running for Arizona’s Congressional District 6’s open seat. Tell us who your favorite is and please follow the link to vote.

Salmon Holds Commanding 30 Point Lead

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 26, 2011
CONTACT: Adam Deguire

Opponents in Dead Heat for 2nd Place Among Likely Primary Voters

EAST VALLEY – Former Congressman and candidate for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District Matt Salmon today announced his campaign to return to Congress holds a commanding early lead in the race for the Republican nomination. In a recent survey conducted by top Arizona polling firm, Arizona Opinion, Salmon received a 30 point advantage over his closest competitor:

If the Republican primary election to choose a candidate to represent this area in the U.S. House were held today, for whom would you vote? [Rotate] Matt Salmon, Kirk Adams, OR Chuck Gray?

38.3% Matt Salmon
8.3% Kirk Adams
6.5% Chuck Gray
47.0% Undecided, Refused

The scientific survey (attached) of 400 likely primary voters in the current Congressional District 6 was conducted over July 18-19. Nearly 92% of those surveyed said they were certain to vote in next year’s primary election.

Dr. Margaret Kenski, President of Arizona Opinion, stated, “Certainly this poll indicates that Matt Salmon begins his campaign with a significant advantage over his opponents. Salmon is in a strong position to earn the support among those who remain undecided and increase his lead towards the all-important 50 percent level.”

“As I continue to meet with people throughout the community, I have been humbled by the overwhelmingly strong support my campaign has received,” said Matt Salmon. “The results of this survey reflect what I have been seeing and hearing every day. There is still much more work to be done, but it is clear that we need to change the direction that our country is headed by sending the most experienced and principled leaders back to Congress. I look forward to sharing more about my track record of reducing spending, balancing the budget, and fighting for conservative values.”

About Arizona Opinion
Arizona Opinion is an Arizona-based consulting firm with survey and other data-based research and focus groups and experience dating back to 1978. Located in Tucson, the firm has conducted research for organizations, campaigns, and candidates for all levels of state, local, and municipal government.

Dr. Margaret Kenski has served as a pollster for the Arizona Republican Party, Congressmen Mo Udall, Jim Kolbe, and Jeff Flake, Senator Jon Kyl, Governors Jane Dee Hull and Fife Symington, and numerous other state and local candidates and ballot proposition committees. Kenski has also conducted survey research on ballot measures and proposed legislation for such diverse entities as the Beer and Wine Distributors of Arizona, Intel, Qwest, and the Arizona State University Foundation.

About Matt Salmon
Matt Salmon was first elected to the United States Congress in 1994 and served until 2000, honoring his term limit pledge. A proud fiscal conservative, Salmon was rated in the top five among all 535 members of the House and Senate by Citizen’s Against Government Waste for all six years he was in office. He is a lifetime member of the NRA with an A+ rating and also earned a 100% rating by the National Right to Life. He was also the proud recipient of the American Cancer Society’s “Top National Elected Official” award.

Matt Salmon has received endorsements from Arizona Congressman Trent Franks, former Arizona Congressman John Shadegg, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, East Valley mayors Gail Barney (Queen Creek), Hugh Hallman (Tempe) and John Insalaco (Apache Junction).

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Gray signs ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17th, 2011

Chuck Gray first to sign Taxpayer Protection Pledge in AZ-06

Queen Creek, AZ: Chuck Gray is excited to announce that he has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge from Americans for Tax Reform. It is essential that we start growing our economy and attracting new businesses to Arizona and to America. We can only do that if we commit to lowering taxes instead of raising them and that is what Chuck Gray will do when he is in Congress.

Gray stated, “I will be a champion for lower taxes and I have an unmatched record of opposing tax increases. I will oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes when I am in Congress. The simple formula for economic success is lower taxes and reduced government regulations. That will be a top priority for me.”

To read the statement from Americans for Tax Reform regarding Gray’s signing of the pledge, please click on this link.

Chuck Gray is running for Arizona’s Congressional District 6, which includes the communities of Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, and Queen Creek. He formerly served in both chambers of the Arizona Legislature and was Senate Majority Leader in 2009 and 2010. He served as an officer in the Mesa Police Department before being elected to the legislature.

For more information please e-mail john@chuckgray.com or www.chuckgray.com.

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Friday Poll: Who should run for CD-6?

This week’s Friday poll is now up! (See the right sidebar)

This week we are polling on the race to replace Jeff Flake in Congressional District 6. On the list of candidates are a handful of legislators, prior candidates and local mayors.

Voting will go on for one week until next Friday’s poll.

Please share the poll with friends!

Jeff Flake announces for US Senate, Arizona CD-6 seat opens up

Congressman Jeff Flake has just announced his entry into the US Senate race to succeed Senator Jon Kyl.

This leaves Arizona’s 6th Congressional seat open. Given the district overwhelmingly favors Republicans, expect another stampede of candidates to run for the starting blocks.

Entrants include:

Senate President, Russell Pearce
Speaker of the House, Kirk Adams
Former State Senator Chuck Gray
2010 CD-6 candidate, Jeff Smith
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu
Any number of other current and former state legislators and city councilman including Phoenix City Councilman, Sal DiCiccio
Any number of east valley political activists

With the urgency to raise money and establish a formidable primary presence, any state legislator will feel the urgency to enter the race quickly. Under Arizona’s resign to run law, resignations in the State Legislature would prompt another flurry of political announcements and appointments to succeed resigning legislators! The task of replacing state legislators would then fall to the elected precinct committeemen in those legislative districts and ultimately to the County Board of Supervisors.

Let the 2012 Republican Primary begin!

Jon Kyl to retire. What next?

Now that it’s official that Senator Jon Kyl will not seek re-election, there’s a whole lot of political conversations taking place.

Going back to my political chessboard analogy, several elected and former elected officials are beginning to telegraph their next move on Arizona’s playing field. Here’s a quick assessment of the situation.

First the Democrats. As the new year began, I predicted that Kyrsten Sinema would be the voice and face of the Democratic party here in Arizona. She has. Her media exposure is up, she’s photogenic and she’s got her soundbites down to an art. Following closely behind is her colleague from Tempe, Senator David Schapira. He’s taken a lead on legislation and has also earned considerable media attention. Would either Sinema or Schapira have a chance for a US Senate seat in 2012? Probably not but let’s remember that a lot can happen between now and November, 2012.

Should House GOP members “drop the ball” on what they promised their constituents, voter attitude could quickly sour against Republicans. Another factor would be who Republicans nominate as their candidate for President. An old ill-tempered Washington insider-incumbent would snuff out the spark generated by the TEA Party revolution and give Obama the hope he craves to win a second-term. Regardless, Sinema or Schapira probably would not fair well in Arizona’s conservatarian political climate. Napolitano may also return to Arizona but a US Senate campaign would require a massive political makeover and a dose of voter amnesia to take place.

Let’s turn to Republicans.

Congressman Jeff Flake is clearly the front runner. Every political pundit knows he’s been chomping at the bit for years. He has the attitude for the job too – he’s always the first one from the delegation to head back to DC and the last one to come home. Most political consultants will tell you this race is his to lose. But Flake has some political liabilities and they’re big ones with Arizona conservatives. First, he has supported lackadaisical immigration reform. He prefers to call it “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” but many call it “Amnesty.” He’s buddied up with other amnesty advocates like Congressman Luis Gutierrez and made it clear that he wants a variety of immigration reforms in place.  To his recent credit, he voted against the DREAM Act. However, among social conservatives, Flake did vote to repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as recent as this last December. And as early as this week, Flake voted to renew provisions of the Patriot Act.

Then there are the political insiders who know the “Flake Political Machine.” Just as ruthless as the “McCain Mafia,” Jeff Flake’s people are hard-core, hard-ball, scorched-earth troopers. Case in point: the 2008 legislative district 18 GOP Primary challenge against Russell Pearce by Flake’s brother-in-law, Kevin Gibbons. Watch for Flake’s arch-defenders to wage political warfare on any challenger.

This leaves Congressman John Shadegg, who as early as the 2008 election cycle was showing disdain toward returning to Washington, D.C. Many remember he even indicated he would not seek re-election in 2008 but then changed his mind. Many pundits have long thought he would not seek a US Senate seat but then as recent as last fall, said he would consider it. There’s no doubt the backroom conversation is taking place or has already taken place between Shadegg and Flake. Among more conservative Republicans, Shadegg’s one political liability, TARP, is probably more forgivable than Flake’s open embrace of comprehensive immigration reform. Since the TEA Party’s rise, he’s been constantly reminded of that vote. And since then he’s publicly stated that he regretted making the vote. The question now is whether two political powerhouses would be willing to duke it out in the public arena. My guess is that Flake walks out of that backroom conversation smiling.

Who else could be taken serious entering a GOP Senate primary? Dean Martin, Trent Franks, Grant Woods? Each name carries some weight but would they consider challenging a colleague? Money would also be an issue. Woods, who ranks in the negatives with conservatives, would be tapping donors from the same pool as McCain and Flake. Martin, a darling among conservatives, would need to retool his fundraising abilities. That leaves Congressman Franks, who almost every conservative adores, to have to resort to hardball tactics against Flake’s machine. Anyone who knows Trent Franks, knows that hardball politics is not his character.

Would JD Hayworth consider another run against “The Establishment” candidate? I would venture to say yes. He’s the freshest candidate from a statewide Senate primary and he’s proven he can raise millions of dollars not only in state but across the country and in a short amount of time. And let’s not forget that JD’s no one to turn down a good political challenge against someone who is diametrically opposed to his position on immigration. If border security (whatever happened to McCain’s 10-Point Plan?) continues to experience the violence of drug cartels, armed confrontation and even murder, don’t rule a JD Hayworth candidacy out. Some conservatives might even call this political matchup a JD vs. McFlake redux.

Given that Flake enters the race for US Senate, that leaves a vacuum in the east valley which is even more complicated by the addition of a new congressional district. Former State Senator Chuck Gray has expressed serious consideration to fill either Flake’s vacant seat or the new congressional seat. TEA Party candidate, Jeff Smith, is also taking a serious look at entering either race. And don’t rule out a possible candidacy by Arizona Speaker of the House, Kirk Adams, who is proving himself worthy while serving in his current position. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has also been mentioned but given his focus on cleaning up Pinal County politics and fighting drug cartel runners, will likely remain serving as Sheriff. Other potential names include Pinal County Supervisor Bryan Martyn and Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio.

Other political seats that may likely change hands include Fulton Brock’s supervisorial district, Don Stapley’s supervisorial district and Maricopa County Sheriff. Conventional political wisdom is that Russell Pearce will seek Sheriff Joe’s seat once Arpaio retires.

All this makes great political theater right here in Arizona. Over the next few months, expect to see campaigns forming including Presidential campaigns. For those who live for high political drama, the stage is being set. Now it’s only a matter of time until the characters take that same stage.

And one last thing before I forget to mind my political manners, let me thank Senator Jon Kyl for his sacrifice and service to this great State of Arizona.