Republican mega-donor Foster Friess at the 40th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference.Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis/Getty Images
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Foster Friess, the Republican megadonor running for governor in Wyoming, has President Trump’s “complete and total Endorsement,” according to a tweet sent early Tuesday as polls opened in the state.
To the incredible people of the Great State of Wyoming: Go VOTE TODAY for Foster Friess – He will be a fantastic Governor! Strong on Crime, Borders & 2nd Amendment. Loves our Military & our Vets. He has my complete and total Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2018
According to Politico, Friess has spent more money than any of his Republican rivals in his bid for governor. A $1.1 million ad campaign has helped boost him from relative obscurity in state politics to a neck-and-neck race, with polling on Monday showing Friess deadlocked with state treasurer Mark Gordon. The third candidate, businessman Sam Galeotos, was slightly behind.
Friess, a Wyoming-based investor and longtime GOP donor, previously poured millions of dollars into Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s failed 2012 presidential run. During that campaign, Friess drew notoriety for his comments on women and birth control in an interview with MSNBC. “Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives,” Friess said. “The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”
Last year, the Washington Post reported that former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon and other wealthy Republican donors viewed Friess as a high-profile recruit to their cause to upend the Republican establishment in Congress.
Friess has also been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul and Donald Trump Jr.—in an op-ed earlier this month, Trump Jr. praised Friess’ “passion for the Second Amendment” and his plans to expand Wyoming’s coal industry: “He will be a true partner to President Trump.”