Skip to comments.After (Craig) Thomas
Posted on 06/08/2007 3:06:36 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
As Wyoming prepared to mourn the late Sen. Craig Thomas (R.-WY), who died last week at 74, the state's unique succession process was quietly beginning to take effect.
Under the state law, when a Senate vacancy occurs, the governor must appoint a sucessor from the same party as the previous holder of the seat. Accordingly, the 71-member Republican state committee will meet on June 15th and submit three names. Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal will choose the new senator from the three and a special election will be held in November of 2008 to fill the remainder of the term won by Thomas last fall.
No one in Wyoming I spoke to takes seriously the media speculation that Second Lady Lynn Cheney would be one of the three Republicans. As one veteran GOP operative told me, "We really haven't seen much of the Cheneys since Dick left the Pentagon in '93 and they moved to Texas." Rep. Barbara Cubin, the state's lone House Member, today ruled herself out of the Senate race.
Sources told me that the three Republicans likely to reach the governor's desk are State Sen. John Barrasso of Casper, an orthopedic surgeon; State House Majority Leader Colin Simpson of Cody, son of former Sen. (1978-96) Alan Simpson and grandson of the late Sen(1962-66). Milward Simpson; and former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Environment Tom Sansonetti of Cheyenne, a past Republican National Committeeman and top aide to Thomas in his House days.
Barasso and Simpson are considered moderates, while Sansonetti is a strong conservative.
(Excerpt) Read more at humanevents.com ...
State Sen. John Barrasso is pro-abort, which IMHO disqualifies him to represent a heavily Republican constituancy. I don’t know where state Representative Colin Simpson stands on the issues, but his last name would be a great asset for the general election.
Tom Sansonetti is good on the issues, but it’s not clear whether he has the political strength to win. That may leave U.S. Attorney Matt Mead as the choice.
If Simpson is a chip off the old block, Wyoming should keep him in Wyoming, and not subject the rest of the country to another uber-RINO.
Key word is “weakest” Republican. There’s going to be pressure for him to appoint one to maximize GOP dissension. It’s too bad somebody like ex-Sen. Malcolm Wallop couldn’t serve an interim term and allow us to put up a better candidate in ‘08.
This could be a mess. In small states, the Republican talent pool is pretty small. In Western states, many good conservatives won’t go to Washington, or if they do, they won’t want to be there long. It would be a shame to end up with a typical senatorial type, i.e., a moderate weakling. But it wouldn’t be surprising. I hope conservative activists in Wyoming are working on this and not letting the suits just do whatever they want. The suits in our party tend not to be very bright. And they tend toward moderates. Make them feel the heat, Wyomingites!
Can we assume that Cubin ruled herself out because she knew she would never be selected?
The way to solve that is to submit three names, all of whom promise in advance that they would NOT run in 2008.
“Can we assume that Cubin ruled herself out because she knew she would never be selected?”
Yes, she has already announced that she has no interest in being a U.S. Senator.
He is? That's not a good sign. I thought I read somewhere else that he was a staunch conservative, but apprently this isn't the case. There's no excuse for having a pro-abort Senator in Wyoming.
>> I dont know where state Representative Colin Simpson stands on the issues, but his last name would be a great asset for the general election. <<
>> If Simpson is a chip off the old block, Wyoming should keep him in Wyoming, and not subject the rest of the country to another uber-RINO. <<
I agree with fieldmarshaldj, if he's anything like daddy, we should say thanks but no thanks. Of course, there are a few exceptions where politician's kids are significally more conservative or more liberal than their parents.
>> That may leave U.S. Attorney Matt Mead as the choice. <<
By process of elimination, you may be right, but I can't find out a thing about this guy.
>> Theres going to be pressure for him to appoint one to maximize GOP dissension. Its too bad somebody like ex-Sen. Malcolm Wallop couldnt serve an interim term and allow us to put up a better candidate in 08. <<
Actually, that's not a bad idea. Why couldn't we? I looked up his profile on wikipedia and it sounds like he's still in good health and politically active. We wouldn't want him to stay long term, but couldn't he just agree to serve as "caretaker" Senator until the seat is up in 2008, then gracefully return home?
>> In small states, the Republican talent pool is pretty small. In Western states, many good conservatives wont go to Washington, or if they do, they wont want to be there long. It would be a shame to end up with a typical senatorial type, i.e., a moderate weakling. But it wouldnt be surprising. <<
Wyoming has a tiny population but the state is overwhemingly Republican and they probably hold about 90% of the offices. There are plenty of conservative Republicans to pick from. If they'd try harder, it should be possible to find a well-qualified, conservative individual willing to go to Washington.
>> I hope conservative activists in Wyoming are working on this and not letting the suits just do whatever they want. The suits in our party tend not to be very bright. And they tend toward moderates. Make them feel the heat, Wyomingites! <<
Unfortunately, it's really out of our hands. You should see how many prospects the Illinois central committee had when they needed a replacement for Jack Ryan. They were half a dozen "also rans" who lost the primary, a legendary coach (Dikta), two former Governors, one Governor's wife, the retiring Senator, a couple zillionaire CEOs, 3 or 4 well qualified state senators... lots of conservatives were lobbying hard for them to select Jim Oberweis, the 2nd place finsher in the primary. And who did the state central committee end up selecting as their "finalists"? The final list had two names: Dr. Andrea Barthwell (an unknown uber-RINO with a tainted career that had been accused of sexual harrassment), and Alan Keyes. Oh, and both "finalists" just happened to be black, just like the Dem nominee, Barack Obama.
The only plus side to this is nobody is likely to be as dumb as the Illinois GOP.
IIRC, Alan Simpson was pro-choice. Wyoming’s voters (at least most of ‘em) didn’t seem to have a problem with that.
I’m a lot more concerned about how Thomas’ successor will be voting on the WOT and the immigration bill than I am about whether he’s pro-life or pro-choice.