When Senator Craig Thomas died on June 4th, it created an empty seat. In most states the Governor selects a replacement that serves until the next even-year election. Wyoming is different. This is unfortunate because Wyoming Governor Dave Feudenthal is a Democrat. In any other state we could expect a Democrat to replace Craig Thomas. But, because of a quirky little state law, Freudenthal doesn’t have that option . Freudenthal must pick Thomas’ replacement from a list of three candidates provided by the Wyoming GOP.

The GOP got together today and whittled down 31 contenders to a final list of three. Here’s the final vote, with winners in bold.

Tom Sansonetti – 58
John Barrasso – 56
Cynthia Lummis – 44

Matt Mead – 30
Ron Micheli – 25

We will either have a Senator Sansonetti, a Senator Barrasso, or a Senator Lummis until January 2009. Freudenthal must pick one of them within two weeks five days.

Sansonetti worked in Ashcroft’s Justice Department as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. Before that he worked for Senator Craig Thomas and in the Interior Department. I don’t know where he stands on issues.

John Barasso was once described as a a moderate pro-choice renegade Republican by the American Reform Party, when they were looking to recruit him. He is currently a State Senator.

Cynthia Lummis was the State Treasurer from 1999-2007. Before that she served in the state legislature. She isn’t very bright because she thinks that al-Qaeda has training camps in Iran. I guess we can add her to the list of people that don’t know the difference between a Sunni and a Shi’ite.

This isn’t really enough information to determine who the best candidate is, I know. Freudenthal will have to balance his own partisan interests in winning Craig Thomas’ seat for the Democrats in ’08 with his parochial interest in having an effective senator in Washington DC representing his state.

Barasso is allegedly pro-choice, for what it’s worth. Former Senator Alan Simpson is pro-choice too. Beyond that, I guess we’ll just wait and see what happens.

Update [2007-6-20 0:34:34 by BooMan]: Barasso is definitely not pro-choice.

Barrasso was quoted in the Casper Star-Tribune: “I’m proud of my record and will fight hard for our shared beliefs. Like Senator Thomas, I believe in limited government, lower taxes, less spending, traditional family values, local control and a strong defense. In the State Senate….I have voted for prayer in schools, against gay marriage and have sponsored legislation to protect the sanctity of life.”

0 0 votes
Article Rating