Lynne Cheney for Senate?
A lot of Republicans — maybe 20, maybe more — want to replace the late Craig Thomas in the U.S. Senate, State GOP Chairman Fred Parady said Monday. Applicants already include recently resigned Wyoming U.S. Attorney Matt Mead, state Rep. Colin Simpson of Cody, state Sen. John Barrasso of Casper, and former state GOP Chairman Tom Sansonetti of Cheyenne.
Parady on Monday outlined the process the party will follow to nominate three candidates to replace Thomas, who died last week at the age of 74. Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal will then select the successor, who’ll serve until the 2008 general election. Parady, former Wyoming House speaker, vowed to run the process in a way that would honor Thomas. “This process is open, it’s comprehensive and it will be fair, and our purpose is to select the best possible three names to represent Wyoming in the United States Senate,” he said.
Many other candidates are mentioned in the article but this one, buried toward the end of a long piece, is raising some eyebrows:
A spokesperson for Lynne Cheney, wife of the vice president, would not deny that she, too, was a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat, according to The Associated Press.
My guess is that Cheney’s spokesman simply thought the question out of left field but didn’t want to immediately answer. Having a sitting second lady become a Senator would be novel, indeed. It would also raise some interesting Constitutional questions.
More interesting, since it is actually happening and not just idle speculation, is that Wyoming bucks the national trend of simply having governors appoint whomever they wish, almost invariably a member of their own party. Often, a surviving spouse is chosen. Or, as happened a few years ago in Alaska, the governor appoints his own daughter.
It seems much more fair to have the party of the elected Senator chose his successor.