Donald Trump’s recent rally on July 24th in Phoenix proved to be a telling event for the upcoming Governor’s race in 2022. Being present at the event myself, as the crowds started to form and lines developed around many city blocks, one candidate in particular looked particularly represented; Matt Salmon. There was a noticeably large group of attendees in red ‘Matt Salmon for Governor’ shirts waiting to enter the Arizona Federal Theater, with one purpose; to cheer when Salmon would be called out by the former President. Salmon even tweeted after the rally, “Thank you to the hundreds of Team Salmon supporters that stood with me at President Trump’s rally. I’m truly humbled.”
When the time came, President Trump mentioned each candidate in attendance by name and allowed for cheers. All the candidates seemed to get about equal applause, until Trump mentioned Kari Lake. Lake, the former Fox 10 news anchor, and Republican candidate for governor, had the crowd roaring and Trump noticed. Anyone who watched knew it was a blow to Salmon and Yee. Kari, by the level of positive feedback she received at the rally last week is on track to be favored by the Trump supporters, and possibly a candidate for Trump’s endorsement in the Governor race.
Lake introduced herself on Saturday as an “unapologetic Trump Republican”. Salmon looked to be an early front runner with endorsements from a lot of members of Congress, but the early activists seem to be much more excited about Kari Lake.