Volume 7, Number 14 - June 28, 2007
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Governor appoints Barrasso to U.S. Senate seat
Last Friday, Gov. Dave Freudenthal selected Wyoming Sen. Dr. John Barrasso, 54, of Casper, to fill the void left after the June 4 passing of the late U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas.
Monday, Barrasso was sworn into office on Capitol Hill where getting settled into a new place likely has been a whirlwind.
“I look forward to working with John Barrasso as he assumes his duties as the interim senator for Wyoming,” Freudenthal said. “I pledge my cooperation to do all that I can to make sure he is a successful senator.”
"John Barrasso will make a great United States Senator,” Sublette County Party Chair Cat Urbigkit said Monday. “He's a compassionate man, and smart as a whip. He'll do us a good job."
"I've invited John to visit Sublette County,” she added. “As soon as we get a date set, we'll let everyone know, so the citizens of the county can come out and meet our new congressman."
Barrasso and the two other final candidates whose names were submitted to Freudenthal for consideration – Cynthia Lummis and Tom Sansonetti – endured a grueling process before they were selected, giving speeches to, having interviews with and answering questions from the state’s 71-member Republican Party Central Committee on Tuesday, June 19.
After the final three nominees were selected, the governor’s office released a copy of the letter Freudenthal sent to each saying he “would appreciate the opportunity to meet with each of you prior to making the appointment.”
“Given the partisan marathon you have just completed, I can understand a lack of enthusiasm about one more discussion of your thoughts and plans should you become a Senator for Wyoming.”
Freudenthal indicated he would be available two afternoons in Cheyenne for any of the three to meet with him and provided a lengthy “partial list of issues/matters (in no particular order), which relate to your potential role as Senator,” including the Wyoming Range, the farm bill and agricultural policy, federal objections to state water projects, worker visas, federal lease buyback, special places in Wyoming, alcohol and substance abuse, EPA air quality, energy corridors, gasoline prices, federal disaster designation and the “ability to work on a bipartisan basis.”
“There are many factors that went into this decision, and it was the sum of these factors that led me to this choice,” the Governor said Friday. “While I don’t intend to indulge the speculation on why I made this decision, I will say that I hope I made the right choice.”
Barrasso is a surgeon with “an extensive resume of volunteer service to the community and to the Republican Party,” according to Urbigkit.
He also served as a Wyoming Republican National Committeeman and as Wyoming Republican Party treasurer.
"I have spent my adult life working to make Wyoming a better place – not just through my work as a state legislator, but as a doctor and activist who believes strongly in giving back to the community,” Barrasso said in a candidate biography. “I have the qualities we need and a passion to serve in the United States Senate. The bottom line is that I am ready, willing and able to do a great job for Wyoming."
Barrasso’s appointment was effective last Friday. The formal Certificate of Appointment was forwarded to Nancy Erickson, Secretary of the United States Senate.
He will serve as senator until January of the year following the next general election in which a successor is elected to fill the remainder of Thomas’ term.
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