Mark Gordon Wins Wyoming Gubernatorial Primary

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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State TreasurerMark Gordon emerged victorious in the Wyoming GOP gubernatorial primary on Tuesday night, a win that nearly assures him control of the governor’s mansion.

Gordon beat back five other candidates for the nomination. Finishing in second was longtime GOP donor Foster Friess, who closely trailed him throughout the night. Other top candidates included attorney Harriet Hageman and businessman Sam Galeotos.

On the Democratic side, former state representative Mary Throne won her party’s nomination, beating three other candidates for the spot. But given Wyoming’s conservative lean, it is unlikely Throne will prevail in the general election.

The winner of the general election will replace term-limited Republican Gov. Matt Mead, one of the most popular governors in the country.

Gordon is known statewide. Before being appointed state treasurer in 2012 — and winning a full term in 2014 — Gordon had made an unsuccessful bid for the state’s at-large congressional district in 2008.

Gordon’s election victory late Tuesday night came despite Friess, enjoying a meteoric rise in the polls during the final days of the election — with many even expecting him to win. During a debate in July, Friess was not able to take part in the first round that included the top-polling candidates and instead had to attend the second-tier debate that took place right after.

But since then, Friess’ poll numbers climbed dramatically, with the latest survey in mid-August revealing him surging to first place. (RELATED: Republican Wyoming Gubernatorial Candidate Foster Friess Surges To FIRST In Polls)

The 78-year-old Friess also benefited from a slew of high-profile endorsements, including Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and conservative Hollywood actor Chuck Norris. Donald Trump Jr. even penned an op-ed in August supporting his candidacy.

The biggest endorsement came Tuesday when President Donald Trump tweeted his stamp of approval for Friess. The president’s endorsement was highly sought after in Wyoming, a state he won by a 46-point margin during the 2016 elections.

Friess was criticized for his outsized spending during the campaign, with many accusing him of trying to buy in the election.

“Disclosure: Friess has donated to The Daily Caller News Foundation in the past.”

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