Wyoming: CQPolitics explains the succession process following the tragic loss of Senator Craig Thomas:
Under Wyoming law, the Republican state central committee has two weeks to submit three candidates to Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal, who then will have five days to appoint one of those nominees.MSNBC offers an additional name into the speculative mix:
The appointed senator will serve until a special election in 2008 to fill out the remainder of Thomas’ term, which runs through 2012.
Jim King, a professor of political science at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, said he expects the central committee to tap someone likely to be a strong candidate in the 2008 special election. According to the 2004 election results, Wyoming is the nation’s second most heavily Republican state, after Utah. That means the appointed senator would gain a substantial advantage for the election next year.
King pointed to several current or former statewide Republicans as possible contenders, including former state House Speaker Fred Parady, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for state treasurer in 2006; former state Treasurer Cynthia Lummis (1999-2007), who was term limited out of office in 2006; Max Maxfield, who was elected secretary of state for Wyoming in 2006; and Colin M. Simpson, majority floor leader of the Wyoming House and son of former Wyoming Sen. Alan K. Simpson (1979-1997).
One candidate not likely to be nominated is Rep. Barbara Cubin, King said, given the state party’s “unhappiness” with her poor electoral performance as the state’s at-large House member. Cubin barely eked out a seventh term against Democrat Gary Trauner in November.
In years past, there has been idle speculation of Lynne Cheney's interest in running for office. Don't be surprised if her name pops up at some point in this process.Note that, with Mike Enzi's Wyoming Senate seat up in 2008, both Senate seats will face election next year. This has recent precedents: Kansas 1996, following Bob Dole's Senate retirement to run for President; California 1992, following Pete Wilson's Senate retirement after his gubernatorial victory; and Tennessee
1992 1994, following Al Gore's Senate retirement to assume the Vice Presidency. No clear signs yet on how this may impact Governor Dave Freudenthal's or 2006 Congressional candidate Gary Trauner's 2008 plans.
Minnesota: If nothing else, Senate candidate Bob Olson has a sense of humor:
A tax attorney with a ubiquitous Minnesota name stepped Tuesday into a U.S. Senate field that already features two big-name Democratic candidates. ...As the article mentions, Olson will focus on renewable energy and health care. With the Minnesota Democratic Senate primary potentially featuring a widely acclaimed social satirist, an attorney who slew Big Tobacco, an activist discussing renewable energy, and a Nobel Laureate, there could be one heck of a policy discussion going on during these primary debates. Warm up the C-SPAN!
While Olson lacks the recognition of the other two, he is already using his Scandinavian name as a campaign punchline: "Vote for Bob Olson. It may be the Bob Olson you know."