Matt Salmon

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Matt Salmon
Matt Salmon, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by David Schweikert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Sam Coppersmith
Succeeded by Jeff Flake
Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 21st district
In office
January 3, 1991 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Jerry Gillespie
Succeeded by Stan Barnes
Personal details
Born Matthew James Salmon
(1958-01-21) January 21, 1958 (age 58)
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Nancy Salmon
Children 4
Alma mater Arizona State University
Brigham Young University, Utah
Religion Mormonism
Website House website

Matthew James "Matt" Salmon (born January 21, 1958) is the Republican representative for Arizona's 5th congressional district. The district is based in Mesa and includes most of the eastern suburbs of Phoenix. He previously represented the district, then numbered as the 1st District, from 1995 to 2001. In 2002, he lost to Janet Napolitano in a highly competitive governor's race. He regained his old congressional seat in the 2012 election. Salmon and his wife Nancy have been married for 34 years. They have four children and seven grandchildren.[1]

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Salmon was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1991, he decided to run for elected office. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.[2]

Arizona Senate (1991–1995)[edit]


In 1990, he ran for the Arizona Senate in the 21st Senate District based in Mesa, Arizona. In the Republican primary, he defeated incumbent State Senator Jerry Gillespie, who was controversial due to his support of impeached Governor Evan Mecham and his vote against making the Martin Luther King holiday.[3] In the general election, he defeated Democrat Bill Hegarty 60%–40%.[4] In 1992, he won re-election to a second term unopposed.[5]


Previous Salmon Congressional Photograph

In 1992, he was elected to a new leadership position called assistant majority leader.[6] He served that position until 1995.

In 1993, he sponsored legislation that created new drug test programs for employers.[7] That year, he also called for an independent study of the Department of Economic Services' child welfare agency.[8]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Senate Appropriations Committee[9]
  • Senate Indian Gambling Committee (Co-Chairman)[10]
  • Senate Rules Committee (Chairman)[11]

U.S. House of Representatives (1995–2001)[edit]



Incumbent U.S. Congressman Sam Coppersmith, a Democrat, decided to retire after one term in what was then the 1st District in order to run for the U.S. Senate. Salmon won the Republican primary with a plurality of 39% in a five-candidate field.[12] During his first Congressional election campaign, term limits were a high-profile issue. Salmon was one of many candidates nationwide who pledged to serve only three terms in Congress. In the general election, he defeated Democratic State Senator Chuck Blanchard 56%–39%.[13]


He won re-election to a second term with 60% of the vote.[14]


He won re-election to a third term with 65% of the vote.[15]


He honored his campaign pledge and did not seek re-election to a fourth term in 2000.


He signed the Contract with America.[16]

In 1999, he unsuccessfully advocated carving Ronald Reagan's face into Mount Rushmore, claiming that the former President had won the cold war.[17] Salmon was instrumental in obtaining the January 29, 2000 release of U.S. based academic researcher Song Yongyi from detention in China on spying charges.[18]


Committee assignments[edit]

Inter-congressional years (2001–2011)[edit]

2002 gubernatorial election[edit]

Incumbent Republican Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull was ineligible for re-election in 2002. In the Republican primary, Salmon defeated Arizona Secretary of State Betsy Bayless and Arizona Treasurer Carol Springer 56%–30%–14%. He won every county in the state.[20] In the general election, he faced Democratic nominee and Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano, Libertarian nominee Barry Hess, and former Arizona Secretary of State Dick Mahoney (who ran as an independent, but was previously a Democrat). Napolitano defeated Salmon 46%–45%, a difference of just 11,819 votes.[21]

Political activism[edit]

After that race, he served as a lobbyist and chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. In 2007, he served as campaign manager to businessman Scott Smith's successful campaign for Mayor of Mesa.[22] In 2008, he became President of the Competitive Telecommunications Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association.[23]

U.S. House of Representatives (2013–present)[edit]

Salmon speaking on June 3, 2014

2012 election[edit]

In April 2011, Salmon announced he would seek his old congressional seat, which was now numbered as the 5th District. His conception of term limits had evolved: in 2011 he stated that they were a flawed concept unless they were applied across the board.[24] His successor in Congress, Jeff Flake, was giving up the seat to run for the United States Senate.[25] He was endorsed by the Club for Growth,[26] Governor Jan Brewer,[27] Senator John Thune,[28] Congressman David Schweikert,[29] Congressman Trent Franks,[30] and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.[31][32] In the August 28 Republican primary, he defeated opponent Kirk Adams 52%–48%.[33][34] In the general election, Salmon defeated Democrat Spencer Morgan 65%–35%.[35] However, the 5th is a heavily Republican district, and Salmon had effectively assured his return to Congress with his primary victory.


In March 2013, he endorsed the idea of bringing back the Hastert Rule, which is that in order to bring a bill to the floor it must have a majority of the majority party's support.[36] He also proposed an amendment to the United States Constitution limiting House members to three terms in office and Senators to two.[37]


Salmon is pro-life and has opposed federal funding of abortions as well as family-planning assistance that includes abortions.[38][39]

Gay rights

Salmon voted to ban gay couples adopting children and opposes gay marriage.[38]

In April 2013, Salmon announced that he would continue to oppose same-sex marriage even though his son is openly gay.[40] Salmon's stances have been unmoved despite his acceptance of his son's homosexuality.[41] Salmon's son led the Arizona Log Cabin Republicans; he left the group to focus on medical school.[40]

Civil Rights

Salmon is strictly opposed to the surveillance of personal emails and phone-calls currently allowed and has called for legislation to reduce it.[42] He introduced a bill that would better protect privacy rights by limiting the ability of the government to perform unwarranted searches.[43]


Salmon has been a moderate supporter of environmental protection. He voted to enforce environmental standards on new pipelines, prohibit the EPA from being barred from investigations, reduce nuclear waste, and provide larger forest conservation.[38][44]


Salmon is a strong fiscal conservative and has often caused rifts and defections in his own party to oppose increasing the deficit.[45] He has strictly opposed raising the debt limit and any new spending without matching cuts.[46] He believes government agencies and institutions should undergo reform, not expansion, to meet their needs.[47]


Matt Salmon signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, stating he would never vote for legislation to increase taxes on Americans.[48] He opposes new government spending unless it has a plan to initiate some spending cut that will offset the loss.[46] He has voted to cut various taxes, such as the estate and marriage taxes.[49]

Following the recent IRS scandal and the wake of investigation, Salmon has called upon Attorney General Eric Holder to hold independent investigation on the IRS for its alleged targeting of its political opponents due allow for an unbiased non-government council to look into the matter.[42]

He is a cosponsor to a bill that would prevent politically-based bias causing any discrimination in tax treatment.[42]

In 2011 Salmon signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[50]

Committee assignments[edit]


  1. ^ "Matt Salmon – Family". Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  2. ^ "New House members of 113th Congress: Q-R-S – Politico Staff". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  3. ^ "Candidate – Jerry Gillespie". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ "AZ State Senate 21 Race – Nov 06, 1990". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ "AZ State Senate 21 Race – Nov 03, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived October 21, 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Workers win as two bills die in House". Arizona Daily Star. April 16, 1993. 
  8. ^ "2 legislators call for greater scrutiny of child welfare agency's operations". Arizona Daily Star. November 19, 1993. 
  9. ^ "Lawmakers from Pima stir anger; Push for tax equity irks Maricopa legislators". Arizona Daily Star. November 14, 1993. 
  10. ^ "Symington calls special session on Indian gaming to begin June 7". Arizona Daily Star. May 27, 1993. 
  11. ^ [2] Archived October 21, 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "AZ District 1 – R Primary Race – Sep 13, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ "AZ District 1 Race – Nov 08, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  14. ^ "AZ District 1 Race – Nov 05, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  15. ^ "AZ District 1 Race – Nov 03, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  16. ^ [3] Archived March 1, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Reagan for Rushmore". BBC News. March 1, 1999. 
  18. ^ "ASIA-PACIFIC | Academic freed by China flies home". 2000-01-29. Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  19. ^ "China reports some US congressmen apologize for bombing of embassy". Xinhua news. May 15, 1999. 
  20. ^ "AZ Governor – R Primary Race – Sep 10, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  21. ^ "AZ Governor Race – Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  22. ^ Nelson, Gary (June 1, 2006). "Ex-Builder Seeks Mesa Mayoral Seat". The Arizona Republic (Newsbank). Retrieved December 5, 2008. 
  23. ^ Timberlake Membership Software, 703-591-4232, (December 4, 2007). "Comptel". Comptel. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  24. ^ "They Took the Pledge". 2004-02-09. Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  25. ^ Walsh, Jim (April 19, 2011). "Matt Salmon seeks to replace Jeff Flake in U.S. House". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Matt Salmon (AZ-05)". Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  27. ^ Welch, Dennis (July 10, 2012). "Gov. Brewer makes first congressional endorsement, backs Salmon | Phoenix". Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  28. ^ Catanese, David (August 2, 2011). "Thune endorses Matt Salmon – David Catanese". Politico.Com. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Schweikert endorses Salmon". Politico.Com. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  30. ^ Catanese, David (April 28, 2011). "Kyl for Adams, Franks for Salmon – David Catanese". Politico.Com. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Breaking: Governor Jeb Bush Endorses Matt Salmon". Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  32. ^ Nowicki, Dan (August 18, 2012). "Gingrich endorses Adams over his old House rival Salmon". Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  33. ^ "AZ District 05 – R Primary Race – Aug 28, 2012". Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  34. ^ "Primary Election". September 18, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  35. ^ "AZ – District 05 Race – Nov 06, 2012". Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  36. ^ "Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon: Bring back 'Hastert rule'". 2013-03-12. Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  37. ^ Matt Salmon (2013-04-23). "Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to limiting the number of terms that a Member of Congress may serve. (2013; 113th Congress H.J.Res. 41)". Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  38. ^ a b c "Matt Salmon (Republican, district 5)". On the Issues. 
  39. ^ "Representative Matthew 'Matt' Salmon's Voting Records: Abortion". Project Vote Smart. 
  40. ^ a b Weiner, Rachel (April 1, 2013). "Rep. Matt Salmon: Gay son hasn't changed my views on gay marriage". The Washington Post. 
  41. ^ Wong, Curtis M. (April 9, 2013). "Matt Salmon's gay son talks Congressman father's same-sex marriage opposition, reparative therapy". HuffPost – Gay Voices (Huffington Post). Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  42. ^ a b c "Rep. Salmon Calls for Special Counsel to Investigate IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups". Matt Salmon: 5th District of Arizona. May 15, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Salmon Introduces Bill to Protect Emails, Ensure Privacy from Government Entities". Matt Salmon: 5th District of Arizona. May 7, 2013. 
  44. ^ "Representative Matthew 'Matt' Salmon's Voting Records Environment". Project Vote Smart. 
  45. ^ Trujillo, Mario (Mar 18, 2013). "Rep. Matt Salmon swims against currents of the Republican establishment". The Hill. 
  46. ^ a b "Rep. Salmon’s Vote on Raising the Debt Ceiling". Matt Salmon: 5th District of Arizona. Jan 23, 2013. 
  47. ^ "REP. SALMON: "Medicaid needs reform, not expansion"". Matt Salmon: 5th District of Arizona. Jan 23, 2013. 
  48. ^ "Matt Salmon Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge". Salmon For Congress. Jun 8, 2011. 
  49. ^ "Representative Matthew 'Matt' Salmon's Voting Records: Budget, Spending and Taxes". Project Vote Smart. 
  50. ^ "Americans for Prosperity Applauds U.S. House Candidate Matt Salmon" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-04-01. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Sam Coppersmith
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Jeff Flake
Preceded by
David Schweikert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 5th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rick Nolan
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mark Sanford