Well, the filing period is closed and the list has been announced. 31 people have filed to fill the seat vacated by the late Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY). Upon the announcement, WYGOP Chairman Fred Parady said:
To provide an overview, we have candidates from 17 of Wyoming’s 23 counties. Natrona leads with 7 candidates, followed by the capital city’s Laramie County with 5. Wyoming’s least populated county, Niobrara, has a favorite son in the race. There are 9 former legislators, 3 central committee members, two doctors and 9 attorneys, 7 ranchers and at least one former county commissioner. There are 4 women and 27 men. It is a diverse group, representing almost every corner of Wyoming” noted Chairman Parady.
To add to the list, we also have a former Liberaltarian (Thomas Rankin; co-contender with Gary Trauner against Rep. Barbara Cubin in the Nov. ’06 election).
Those on the list that just don’t have enough conservatism or cause me concern:
- Thomas Rankin: up until recently, was in the Liberaltarian party, which has a bit too much liberalism in their quest to be “ultra conservative.”
- Rep. Colin Simpson: Yes, a Republican, and yes he has experience and it would be really cool if a Cody man could fill in for Sen. Thomas (especially in light of the East Gate issue), but the social issues that play a big role in defining conservatism have yet to be espoused by the state representative and house speaker. If they have been, it sure hasn’t been on display.
- State Sen. Cale Case: Another one that is lacking the social side of conservatism.
- Randall Luthi: Former State House Speaker; currently #2 in the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Not sure where he is on the social issues, but he did say (from his post in USFWS) that he couldn’t help Wyoming out on the wolf delisting issue because of a conflict of interest. Makes me wonder if a bill favorable to Wyoming came up, what would happen???
I do know that I like Dr./Sen. Barrasso, two-time gubernatorial candidate Ray Hunkins, and as I’ve said before, if memory serves, Bruce Asay wasn’t a half bad candidate. If things seem slow here, be watching for updates and a bunch of commentary and discussion on Tieki Rae’s blog. She’s been a hawk on the succession process and has an extreme thirst for knowledge about our 31 candidates. Not to say I don’t, she’s just managed to find the info before me.