Former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon declared victory in his battle against former state House Speaker Kirk Adams for the East Valley’s Fifth Congressional District.
Salmon captured 54 percent of the votes counted so far in the Republican primary, which includes early ballots and 75 percent of precincts, according to unofficial results. Salmon will replace U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, who is running for the Senate.
Salmon was in Congress when it balanced the budget for the first time in nearly 50 years, and he vowed to help restore fiscal responsibility.
“We will take nothing for granted and will do everything we need to make sure that we win in November,” Salmon said in a statement Tuesday night. “In addition, we will be turning our attention towards standing up to President Obama and making sure that he does not receive another term. Our future is at stake.”
Salmon and Adams campaigned on their accomplishments in Congress and the Legislature, respectively. But Adams scored a major endorsement earlier this month when former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich threw his support behind Adams.
Gingrich used the endorsement announcement to criticize Salmon — who was a key figure in ousting Gingrich from his House leadership post after Republicans did poorly in the 1998 elections.
Salmon served in Congress from 1995 to 2001, leaving after a pledge to serve no more than three terms.
The winner will face Democrat Spencer Morgan, who was unopposed. The heavily Republican district includes portions of Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Apache Junction and Queen Creek.
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