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After Thomas

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.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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