Trump-Backed Candidate Comes Up Short in Fierce Race

Wyoming state treasurer Mark Gordon won a fiercely contested GOP primary to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Matt Mead on Tuesday, prevailing over a billionaire businessman who received the last-minute endorsement of President Trump.

Foster Friess, the GOP megadonor who Trump tweeted would be “Strong on Crime, Borders & 2nd Amendment,” is a major financial contributer to Christian causes, which analysts had predicted might help him secure Wyoming’s religious votes in the race against Gordon and several other candidates.

Trump, who has aggressively campaigned nationally for various state candidates ahead of November’s midterm elections, won the state by more than 40 points in the 2016 presidential race. His endorsement has carried significant weight in several primary races this year, helping to oust Rep. Mark Sanford in South Carolina in a stunning upset and keeping Rep. Martha Roby’s candidacy alive in Alabama.

But it wasn’t enough on Tuesday, as vote tallies showed Friess trailing Gordon by more than six percentage points with virtually all precincts reporting.