Wyoming Republicans Rebuff Trump-Backed Candidate for Governor

August 22, 2018 AT 9:30 AM

By Daniel Strauss and Scott Bland

Wyoming state Treasurer Mark Gordon won the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday, defeating Trump-backed businessman and political donor Foster Friess.

President Donald Trump waded into the race late, tweeting in support of Friess early on Election Day. Friess’ defeat capped a day of political misfortune for Trump, who was implicated in a conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws by former attorney Michael Cohen and saw former campaign chairman Paul Manafort convicted of fraud before Gordon snapped the president’s recent streak of picking winners in Republican governor’s primaries around the country.

Gordon had 32 percent of the Republican primary vote to Friess’ 26 percent when the Associated Press called the primary with 91 percent of precincts reporting.

Current Republican Gov. Matt Mead is term-limited. Gordon will face Democratic state Rep. Mary Throne in the general election.

Gordon was the early frontrunner in the race to succeed Mead, but Friess’ personal wealth and national political connections made him a contender in the crowded primary. Former Sen. Rick Santorum — who benefitted from a Friess-funded super PAC in the 2012 presidential race — backed the megadonor, as did Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and several prominent national conservative groups.

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