Posted by: Scott | Friday, June 22, 2007

Introducing Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)

This morning, “Gov. Dave” appointed State Sen. John Barrasso to be Wyoming’s interim Senator, filling the vacancy created by the death of Sen. Craig Thomas.

“There are many factors that went into this decision, and it was the sum of these factors that led me to this choice,” Freudenthal said in a statement. “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, 54, has been a state senator since 2003. He rose quickly in legislative stature, becoming chairman of the Senate Transportation, Highway and Military Affairs Committee.

However, his one attempt for a statewide office failed in 1996 when he lost in the Republican primary to Mike Enzi for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Alan Simpson. Enzi eventually won the seat and is now the state’s senior senator.

Barrasso said on his application for seat that he intended to run in the 2008 election for the remainder of Thomas’ term.

And he leaves he no doubts that he will be a conservative voice in Washington for a traditionally conservative state.

“I believe in limited government, lower taxes, less spending, traditional family values, local control and a strong national defense,” he said in his application for appointment to Thomas’ seat. “In the state Senate, in addition to receiving an ‘A’ rating from the NRA, I have voted for prayer in schools, against gay marriage and have sponsored legislation to protect the sanctity of life.”

James King, a University of Wyoming political science professor, said the state won’t see much change in its political representation in Congress.

Sen. Barrasso could arrive in D.C. and be sworn in on the Senate floor as early as Monday. He will have to undergo an orientation to learn “office stuff” and then get to work in a busy congressional session. Hopefully, it involves more than non-binding resolutions and other such nonsense.

Tieki Rae caught this before me, but I actually caught it on KODI’s noon news brief.

UPDATE: Sen. Mike Enzi looks forward to working with Sen. Barrasso:

“I’ve known John for years, even before we were part of the same primary election. I appreciated him pitching in and helping me get elected after that primary. He showed character and statesmanship, two of the qualities necessary to do this job well. He then ran for Wyoming Senate and was elected and then reelected with no opposition, which shows what a good job he was doing.

“His medical background will be a huge help here as well as all of the knowledge he picked up working the issues in the Wyoming Legislature. When you serve in the Wyoming Legislature you have to make decisions every year on about 500 different issues. You can’t just cherry pick the ones you are interested in. This variety of Wyoming issues gives him great background for jumping in Monday, hitting the ground running and doing a great job for Wyoming. He can work across the aisle. I have had the pleasure of working with John over the years and now I look forward to doing that much more closely now.

“He’s very pleased that both of his children, Pete and Emma, have graduated from high school. He has been able to watch them grow up in an involved way through the years. Now that they go to college, he can come to Washington. I know this is something he very interested in doing. He and his family will be very excited about it and will be great participants. I want to welcome newest member of the U.S. Senate and let everyone know we are looking forward to him joining a great team with his extreme capability.

“The Wyoming GOP and Fred Parady, state party chairman, as well as Governor Freudenthal did their jobs well. There were so many people interested in the Senate seat and Fred managed the whole process efficiently during a difficult time. Any one of the three candidates, who in addition to John included Tom Sansonetti and Cynthia Lummis, would have done an outstanding job. I have worked personally with all of them I am appreciative of the governor for the thorough and professional job he did with his interviews that were complete with 42 national issue areas he is concerned about. He said he was going to pick the person he thought best for Wyoming and I congratulate him for that.

“Wyoming is a good example for the rest of the nation to follow. No one will be able to replace Craig Thomas, but working with John, I will ensure that representation of Wyoming in the U.S. Senate remains second to none.”



  1. Yaaaay we did it! 🙂 I heart Sen. Barrasso. Everything I have seen and heard from him throughout this entire process has impressed me.

  2. On top of that, he’s got connections to the home media: writing occasionally for CST, the spot on K2 News, and he has a radio spot too that airs on KODI. I think he’ll do good at “staying connected” to the state.

    He’ll make Wyoming proud, although some people in places like, oh, I don’t know, we’ll say Laramie for hypothetical (NOT political) reasons, might be disgruntled about it. 😉

  3. Great letter from Senator Enzi you posted. I’m looking forward to Senator Barrasso representing us well in Washington.

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