U.S. Congressman Matt Salmon’s hero is his dad—a sergeant in WWII, and a post-hole digger who wouldn’t miss work even with his foot broken. His dad taught him hard work, loyalty, honesty and integrity. He told Salmon, “Finish what you start. If you make a promise, keep it.”
Brother Salmon has worked to do that his whole life. He received a leadership scholarship to BYU and studied there as a freshman. Two weeks after returning from his mission in Taiwan to his home in Arizona, he met Nancy, his wife. They married six months later. Staying in Arizona, Salmon earned an English literature degree at ASU.
His first job after graduating was with a telephone company in Tucson. Promoted to supervisor at age 22, he was told that if he didn’t have the best results of all six splicing crews, he’d be fired. His crew of older, more experienced men decided to sabotage him. But finding Salmon to be likable and humble, they labored earnestly and won the competition.
“Always act in humility,” Salmon says. “Being in a prominent position is a gift from God; it’s not because you’re so great.”
He later earned a Masters in Public Administration from BYU and went on to politics from there.
Matt and Nancy Salmon have been married 36 years and have four children and seven grandchildren. With him in Washington, D.C. about 80% of the time, he and Nancy have scripture study and prayer together by phone every day.
Frequently using the Mandarin learned on his mission, Salmon is the first Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Asia Pacific Subcommittee in U.S. history that actually speaks Mandarin. He also serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
“The most important work we do touches individual lives,” Salmon says. He values the words of King Benjamin in Mosiah 2:17, “[W]hen ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”
One act of service involved Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi, whom Salmon met twice in the Mexican prison where the Marine was wrongfully held in 2014. Salmon met with the Attorney General of Mexico, the Ambassador to Mexico and news media. It took seven months, but Tahmooressi was finally released.
“I love being able to serve in that way,” Salmon says.
Recently, he helped achieve Sergeant Amir Hekmati’s release after his wrongful imprisonment in Iran.
Salmon ardently fights to represent his constituents in Congressional District 5 and other Americans. He’s a starter and finisher, and keeps his promises.