Wyoming GOP picks Senate seat finalists

The Wyoming Republican central committee picked state Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight Senate advances energy regulator nominees despite uncertainty of floor vote Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee MORE, former state treasurer Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisNext Congress expected to have record diversity Republican Cynthia Lummis wins Wyoming Senate election Chamber of Commerce endorses McSally for reelection MORE and former assistant U.S. Attorney General Tom Sansonetti as the final three candidates for the state’s open Senate seat, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) will have five days to select from the three once they are submitted, which is expected to happen Wednesday.

The field was whittled down from 28 to 10, then five and finally three over the course of the day.

The appointee will replace the late Sen. Craig Thomas (R), who lost a seven-month battle with leukemia earlier this month.

The appointee will serve until a new senator is elected by Wyoming voters in November 2008. The winner of the special election will serve the last four years of the term Thomas won in 2006.    

Among the frontrunners who did not make the cut was state Rep. Colin Simpson (R), the son of former Sen. Alan Simpson (R), who told The Hill earlier this month that he planned to challenge Rep. Barbara Cubin (R) in a primary next year.

Cubin lashed out at Simpson for sharing what she said she thought was a private conversation about the 2008 primary.

Simpson was cut when the field was reduced to five, as was former Cubin challenger Bruce Asay (R). Former state House Speaker Randall Luthi (R), now the deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, lost a runoff when he and former U.S. Attorney Matt Mead (R) tied for fifth.
Mead and former state Agriculture chief Ron Micheli failed to make the cut from five to three.

One committee member left around the time of the final vote after learning that his two sons had been hurt in a fire at his home, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. Colin Simpson filled in as a proxy.