A recent poll placed Foster Friess narrowly out in front of five Republican hopefuls for Wyoming Governor. It is a surprising announcement especially considering no one outside of his hometown of Jackson knew his name a month ago. Friess’ name recognition rated second lowest (57%) amongst all candidates in an earlier poll.
According to a poll conducted by Trafalgar Group, Friess and fellow GOP candidate Harriet Hageman made up the most ground after an earlier University of Wyoming poll in July showed both nearer the bottom of the pack.
Hageman clawed her way up, presumably, as a result of going on the offensive. She has spared no one during debates where she has questioned Mark Gordon’s investment strategies as Wyoming Treasurer, ripped Sam Galeotos for business hypocrisy, and slammed Friess as an outsider trying to buy the race.
And maybe money does talk. Friess has the biggest war chest and has been using it. Massive TV and social media buys have no doubt fueled the Jackson Hole philanthropist’s meteoric rise to the top of the GOP nominee list.
It’s either that or the endorsement strategy his team has rolled out in recent weeks. The Friess campaign has followed one curious endorsement after another beginning with the President’s son.
Donald Trump Jr., endorsed the multimillionaire, saying, “Foster Friess has always fought for the little guy.” The support wasn’t entirely unexpected. Friess was a significant donor to father POTUS’s campaign, helping Trump win contentious states like Iowa, Ohio and Michigan, according to Donald, Jr.
Rodeo roping legend Jake Barnes has also boarded the Friess express, lending his support.
Friess also received backing from Walker, Texas Ranger star Chuck Norris, who email blasted his endorsement stating, “I usually don’t get involved in politics, but Foster Friess isn’t a politician. He’s the real deal: a strong, conservative outsider.”
Friess has also been the target of criticism from groups other than Hageman. A group called Independent Republicans of Wyoming (not affiliated with the official state party) is spreading ads on social media claiming: “Foster Friess owns a private plane and he uses it. To hop into campaign rallies and then back to one his many houses in Jackson and Scottsdale. He doesn’t even live here and wants to be our Governor? Become a Republican on August 21st just to vote against Friess in the primary!”
One thing is for certain, with less than a week to go before the Primary, everyone in Wyoming is fast learning Foster’s name now.