"I'm proud to stand with my friend and proven conservative, Matt Salmon," Cruz sad in a statement. "As governor, Matt will make the safety and security of all Arizonans his top priority. He will fight to protect Arizona from the Biden Administration's socialist policies. And Matt will continue the work, which started when he was in Congress, to defend Arizona from all threats, including those increasingly from foreign and state actors, while standing unapologetically on conservative principle. I ask fellow conservatives in Arizona to join me in supporting Matt's campaign for governor."
Salmon has represented Arizona in two separate stints in Congress, the first from 1995 to 2001 and the second from 2013 to 2017, according to Ballotpedia. Salmon was the Republican nominee for Arizona governor in 2002 but lost to Democrat Janet Napolitano. He was lobbyist for Arizona State University before announcing his candidacy, according to the Arizona Mirror.
"Senator Cruz is a conservative stalwart who has always put America first. His pursuit of freedom and opportunity is only matched by his fidelity to the Constitution," Salmon said in a statement, "I'm honored and thankful for his endorsement."
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey's second term ends in 2023, and Salmon is far from the only candidate in the race. Other Republicans include former news anchor Kari Lake, businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson and Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee, according to Ballotpedia.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, tossed her hat in the ring earlier in June.
"The other side isn't offering policies to make our lives better. They're offering conspiracies that only make our lives worse. We did our job. They refuse to do theirs. … That's why I'm running for governor," Hobbs said in her launch video.
"In 2020, against all odds, in the middle of a pandemic, we proved that democracy works. It's been my job and life's work to make government work for the people of Arizona," she said.
The focus on Arizona's 2020 presidential election results raised Hobbs' profile as she appeared on cable news to take issue with state Republicans.
"We’ve got this state government being run by conspiracy theorists right now. They are out of touch with everyday Arizonans and that’s holding us back as a state," she told the Arizona Republic.
Hobbs is not the only Democrat in the race. Former Nogales, Ariz., Mayor Marco Lopez is also running.
Arizona hasn't had a Democratic governor since 2009. Ducey won reelection in 2018 by roughly 15 points.