Craig Thomas

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This is a profile of a former U.S. senator. (See all the Wyoming portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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Craig Lyle Thomas, a Republican, was a senator from Wyoming from 1995 until his 2007 death in office.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME 0 - 0/4 not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action n/a* - 1/6 not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council 100 - 2/2 100 - 2/2
Information Technology Industry Council 0 - 0/1 0 - 0/1
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce n/a - 1/2 not avail.

Iraq War

Thomas voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.



Thomas, born February 17, 1933, is considered an expert on agriculture and rural development. He has served in important positions in several state agencies. His most lengthy job was as executive vice president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau from 1965 until 1974. He was also an independent small businessman. In 1984, he was elected to the state legislature, in which he served until 1989.

Senate Career

In 1989, Dick Cheney, who occupied Wyoming's only seat in the United States House of Representatives, resigned from it in order to become United States Secretary of Defense. Thomas became the Republican candidate to replace him in the April 1989 special election, and he won. He was reelected in 1990 and 1992. In 1994 he ran for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Malcolm Wallop and won that election as well. He was reelected in 2000 and is again up for reelection in November 2006.

2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated Dale Groutage to challenge Thomas in his bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006)

Illness and death

During the final stretch of the November 2006 elections, Thomas was diagnosed with leukemia. [1] He was initially responsive to treatment, and returned to work on December 4, 2006. Thomas' condition worsened significantly in June 2007, however, and he was listed in "serious condition" after his cancer resisted a second round of chemotherapy.[1] On June 4, 2007, Thomas died at age 74.[2]

Appointment of successors

According to Wyoming law, within 15 days of Thomas' death, the state Republican Party was required to nominate three potential replacements for him. The governor, in this case Democrat Dave Freudenthal, would then have five days to select one of the three nominees. The replacement selected would serve temporarily until the next general election (2008), when a new senator would be elected to complete the term.[3] Before the Republican state central committee made its selection, possible replacements included former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Tom Sansonetti, a former chief of staff to Sen. Thomas, Wyoming state Rep. Colin Simpson, son of former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), Randall Luthi, a former state House Speaker who earlier this year was appointed deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state Sen. John Barrasso, state Sen. Cale Case, attorney Bruce Asay, and retired Navy Capt. Bill Winney. Rep. Barbara Cubin, an expected choice, declined to be considered, intending instead to fulfill her seventh term as Wyoming's at-large representative. She did not, however, rule out a possible run for the Senate seat in the 2008 special election.[4] On June, 11, 2007, the Wyoming Republican Party announced that it would nominate potential replacements for Thomas on June 19, 2007.[5]

Three finalists selected

On June 19, 2007, the Wyoming Republican central committee selected three potential replacements for Senator Thomas:

  • State Senator John Barrasso
  • Former State Treasurer Cynthia Lummis
  • Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Tom Sansonetti

Following the Republican committee's selections, Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal would have five days to select one of the three as Thomas' successor.[6]

John Barrasso selected

On June 22, 2007, John Barrasso was selected by Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal to replace the late Sen. Craig Thomas. It is expected that Barrasso will be a conservative voice in the Senate. On his application, Barrasso stated, "I believe in limited government, lower taxes, less spending, traditional family values, local control and a strong national defense." He said he has "voted for prayer in schools, against gay marriage and [has] sponsored legislation to protect the sanctity of life."[7]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Campaign contribution data could not be found.

Links to more campaign contribution information for Craig Thomas
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Congressional Sportsman's Caucus
  • Senate National Guard Caucus
  • Co-Chair, Senate Rural Health Caucus

Boards and other Affiliations

  • American Farm Bureau, 1966-1975

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Craig Thomas. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
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District offices
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On the Web
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Articles and resources


  1. Staff Reports, "Sen. Thomas Condition Turns Serious,"Casper Star Tribune, June 4, 2007.
  2. Bob Cusack and Aaron Blake, "Sen. Craig Thomas Dies," The Hill, June 4, 2007.
  3. Bob Cusack and Aaron Blake, "Sen. Craig Thomas Dies," The Hill, June 4, 2007.
  4. Aaron Blake and Sam Youngman, "Cubin won’t replace Thomas; Simpson son and Bush appointees head list" The Hill, June 6, 2007.
  5. David M. Drucker, "Wyoming GOP Will Recommend Thomas Successors on June 19," Roll Call, June 11, 2007.
  6. Aaron Blake, "Wyoming GOP picks Senate seat finalists," The Hill, June 17, 2007.
  7. Bob Moen. "Wyoming governor appoints GOP state Sen. John Barrasso to replace late U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas," Associated Press, (via Union Tribute). June 22, 2007.



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