Foster Friess

Foster Friess, a Rice Lake native and former investment professional who challenged area residents to match his $1 million pledge to benefit victims of the May 2016 Barron County tornado, is three months into his campaign for governor of the state of Wyoming.

Friess is one of six candidates on the Aug. 21, 2018, ballot in what Ballotpedia.Org says “could be the most expensive Republican gubernatorial primary in Wyoming history.”

Friess is funding his own campaign.

His opponents include Wyoming State Treasurer Mark Gordon, businessman Sam Galeotos, attorney Harriet Hageman, businessman Bill Dahlin and former surgeon and rancher Taylor Haynes.

Friess, 78, was interviewed Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, on the FOX News network. He formally announced his candidacy in April 2018.

His campaign website leads off with an endorsement by President Donald Trump.

A Rice Lake High School and University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, Friess and his wife, Lynn, started an investment firm in 1974 that eventually managed more than $15 billion in assets and whose flagship subsidiary, the Brandywine Fund, averaged 20 percent annual gains in the 1990s, according to Wikipedia and Forbes magazine.

After the 2016 tornado, Friess announced he would match up to $1 million in local donations to assist tornado victims. Managed in Barron County by representatives of Red Cedar Church and Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald (among others), the effort eventually resulted in the expenditure of $1,140,603.94 in behalf of the tornado victims.

Families affected by the disaster were each appointed a “financial coach” to help them plan their future endeavors.

Apartment hunters were helped to find new places to live. Those who wanted to build or buy single family homes received down payments and assistance with setting up their budgets to include mortgage payments. Used cars were purchased for those who lost their vehicles.

The fundraising organization wrote checks directly to apartment managers, lending institutions, contractors, car dealers, and other providers, to help storm victims reach their goals.

According to his campaign website, Friess “believes that private individuals are called to carry others’ burdens–rather than relying on the government to do so.”

He also supports “free enterprise, limited constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, and traditional American values … and … believes we can find effective, innovative private sector solutions to many of the problems we face.”

Despite leading all other candidates in campaign spending, Friess still trailed candidate Gordon – the only elected official in the field – according to a June 2018 poll.

In an interview shortly after he announced his candidacy last April, Friess told reporters. “if he was elected governor he would only serve one term and ask voters to pick a charity to which he would dedicate his salary,” according to Sheridan Media.