(Reuters) – Wyoming Secretary of State Mark Gordon was on course on Tuesday to defeat five other candidates in the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary, including a financier and mega donor who garnered support from President Donald Trump.
Gordon is likely to become the next governor when voters go to the polls during the general election in November in Wyoming, a Republican stronghold, where current governor Republican Matt Mead could not run again because of a term limit.
With 16 of 23 counties reporting vote totals, Gordon earned about 32 percent of the vote while Republican mega-donor Foster Friess, an evangelical Christian, earned 25 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results posted on the secretary of state’s website.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump voiced his support on Twitter for Friess, who rose to national prominence for his support of conservative Rick Santorum’s failed presidential bid in 2012.
In June, a poll conducted by the University of Wyoming showed Friess lagging in fourth place in the contest. But the Trump-supporting investor surged into the top three in a follow-up poll released this week.
If he wins, Gordon will face Democrat Mary Throne, a member of the state’s house of representatives, who appeared to have soundly defeated a field of three other candidates, according to unofficial results posted on the secretary of state’s website.
Voters in Alaska are also choosing candidates for governor on Tuesday.
Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, California and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Simon Cameron-Moore