Posted by: Scott | Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Park County GOP Meets Saturday

The Park County Republican Committee has scheduled two meetings for this Saturday regarding the succession of the late Sen. Craig Thomas.

The meetings are scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Masonic Lodge, at Second and Absaroka in Powell, and at 2 p.m. in the Governor’s Room at the Irma Hotel, 1192 Sheridan Ave. in Cody.

Local voting delegates will seek input from the precinct committee people. Candidates seeking nomination to the Senate seat will be allowed to address the group. The public is welcome to attend.

In other succession news, Ray Hunkins has put an interesting spin on the nomination process.



  1. I GOTTA hope like crazy that there is another candidate that throws his hat in….I knew him for 5 years & I will not mention my issue – but was VERY unethical (I was not involved with any attorney or anything – was just an approach about somethihg). But does it NOT raise red flags to anybody that he PROMISES not to run for the position in 2008??? bAsk him for his actual qualifications – what ELECTED position and not board of this & that etc. he has ever held. Not ever even a county commissioner….

  2. Hmm … I wonder if our executive committee has any plans to meet before Sunday…

  3. I always figured it was the office holder’s prerogative to run or not, with the exception of legal issues including, but not limited to term limits.

  4. It’s simply wrong, and also unconstitutional, to allow a political party to choose who goes to Congress for us. The people — all of the people — should choose Thomas’ successor. And no political party should be able to limit their choice.

  5. From the Wyoming Statutes, Title 22, Chapter 18, Section 111: Vacancies in other offices; temporary appointments:

    If a vacancy occurs in the office of United States senator or in any state office other than the office of justice of the supreme court and the office of district court judge, the governor shall immediately notify in writing the chairman of the state central committee of the political party which the last incumbent represented at the time of his election under W.S. 22-6-120(a)(vii), or at the time of his appointment if not elected to office. The chairman shall call a meeting of the state central committee to be held not later than fifteen (15) days after he receives notice of the vacancy. At the meeting the state central committee shall select and transmit to the governor the names of three (3) persons qualified to fill the vacancy. Within five (5) days after receiving these three (3) names, the governor shall fill the vacancy by temporary appointment of one (1) of the three (3) to hold the office. If the incumbent who has vacated office did not represent a political party at the time of his election, or at the time of his appointment if not elected to office, the governor shall notify in writing the chairman of all state central committees of parties registered with the secretary of state. The state central committees shall submit to the governor, within fifteen (15) days after notice of the vacancy, the name of one (1) person qualified to fill the vacancy. The governor shall also cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the state notice of the vacancy in office. Qualified persons who do not belong to a party may, within fifteen (15) days after publication of the vacancy in office, submit a petition signed by one hundred (100) registered voters, seeking consideration for appointment to the office. Within five (5) days after receiving the names of qualified persons, the governor shall fill the vacancy by temporary appointment to the office, from the names submitted or from those petitioning for appointment;

    The US Constitution leaves the duty of filling Congressional vacancies up to the states and this is the route that Wyoming has chosen.My guess would be that the Senate seat is filled by appointment because of the Senate being a representative of the State (in comparison, the U.S. Representative is a representative of the people of the State; thus that vacancy would be filled via a special election).

    The procedure in Wyoming law seems to be a decent one. The appointee only fills in until the next general election, at which time he/she must seek election if continued service is desired. Since we have general elections every two years in Wyoming, you’re not going to be filling in as an appointee very long before having to be approved by the people.

  6. The US Constitution assigns the power to fill vacancies to either the Governor or the people. It says:

    Amendment XVII: Senator election and number.

    The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

    When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

    This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

    Note that only the Governor of the state may be empowered to choose a temporary successor (if he does not call an election). No one else, and especially not a political party, can or should be empowered to do so. And thank Heaven for that. In Soviet Russia, it was the party that chose the leaders.

    Of course, what this means is that the state statute quoted above is unconstitutional. The Governor, who is quite conservative and was a US Attorney, should recognize this and challenge the law. I’d like to see him call an election.

  7. Just a thought: we elected a Republican Senator to serve six years. Currently, our Governor is a Democrat. If WYGOP was not involved, could it be possible that the Governor (no matter how conservative you think he is) would not call a special election and choose a Democrat against the will of the people expressed in the Nov. 2006 election?

    The party of the deceased only narrows down the field; the Governor makes the ultimate choice, and then in the following election cycle, if we don’t like the choice, we can choose another.

  8. The will of the people was to elect that particular person. It was not to elect a political party.

  9. I wish I had more of a voice on the selection too. But, at this point I don’t, thus I am going to trust the leadership of the WYGOP to pick three wonderful candidates which will force the Governor to appoint a Senator that will serve us well.

  10. Scott, I’m sorry, but I do not believe that anyone can trust any political party to make such a choice. Political parties are motivated not by the best interests of the people but rather a lust for power for their own organizations. What we have seen so far is that every one of the candidates is posturing to represent himself as embracing all of the views of the national party, whose goals and interests often conflict with those of Wyoming residents. And more importantly, the entire process is unconstitutional. Were the Republican party truly conservative or patriotic, it would strive to uphold the Constitution. But its lust for power apparently trumps its respect for that document and our system of government. It is seeking to make the choice for us, rather than allowing the Governor or the people to make it as prescribed by the Constitution. The Consitution, in its wisdom, does not permit a political party to “force” the Governor to pick from a particular list;. In fact, it doesn’t allow a political party to be empowered to make any part of the choice. This is a good thing. I realize from reading the other entries in your blog that you are a strong supporter of the Republican party, but hopefully you owe more loyalty to the Constitution and the rule of law than to the party. And hopefully you desire that your party honor and respect the law and the Constitution.

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