Arizona Speculation Over Whether Rep. Matt Salmon Will Challenge Sen. McCain

Will he run for the Senate? Speculation is growing over whether Rep. Matt Salmon will launch a primary challenge to Senator John McCain in Arizona.

Salmon remains mum on the subject. During the “Sunday Square Off,” a weekend talk show produced by 12 News, political heavyweight Chris Herstam suggested a Salmon run would require a path to victory paved by a group like the power-player Club for Growth. Still, Herstam told the panel he doesn’t think a “clear path to victory” can be shown and said he doesn’t see Salmon getting into the race.

Notable is a report that appears to list Herstam’s campaign contributions includes support for both Republicans and Democrats with $1,000 going to “Friends of John McCain” in 2014. “Friends of John McCain” is the fundraising committee that has been emailing contribution pleas in recent days.

Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle revealed information in mid-March from a source close to Salmon that the Representative is seriously looking at a run for the Senate seat. The source told Boyle Salmon has “had a lot of people encourage him to take a hard look at this seat and that’s what he’s doing.”

“Sunday Square Off” host Brahm Resnik wrote the Arizona Republic synopsis of the show clip that featured Herstam. He suggested the soon to be 80-year-old McCain would announce his candidacy for a sixth Senate term within two months. Resnik went on to note Salmon’s history in Congress, which includes taking part in the 1994 “Republican Revolution.”

Resnik then downplayed potential McCain challenger, State Senator Kelli Ward (R-Lake Havasu City), saying she has lower name recognition given her smaller district and disparaging her potential ability to raise enough for a primary challenge.

Resnik reported on McCain’s failed 2008 presidential run nationwide.

Conservative Republican Club of Kingman President Larry Schiff might beg to differ with Resnik on Ward’s ability to overcome odds. He was recently cited in the Kingman Daily Miner as saying he’s made the mistake of underestimating Ward in the past. “She has become much, much better known than anyone else from this area in Phoenix, and I have often heard of her described as a rising star.”

Both Ward and Salmon would be likely to benefit from reports of McCain’s weakened support, Arizonan’s dissatisfaction with his job performance and the fact that he no longer carries the massive residual campaign war chest from his 2008 Presidential campaign.

Other names have been thrown into the mix of contenders to take on McCain. Representative Paul Gosar has gone on record as saying definitely that he would pursue re-election to his own seat in the U.S. House of Representatives rather than challenge McCain.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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