WY GOP mourns loss of Senator Thomas
by Wyoming Republican press release
June 5, 2007
The Wyoming Republican Party is deeply saddened by the loss of Senator Thomas.
“Our thoughts and prayers are first and foremost with Susan and Craig’s family. All of Wyoming mourns the passing of her true champion, Senator Craig Thomas,” said WYGOP Chairman Fred Parady. “For over 25 years of public life, Craig worked tirelessly on behalf of Wyoming’s people. He was everyone’s friend, and constantly traveled the breadth of our state, always with a cheerful greeting, warm words and keen interest. He was a fighter – for our country and for our state, and he worked hard for Wyoming all the way to the end. We will miss him.”
Funeral and other arrangements are pending.
Craig Thomas won five consecutive statewide elections by some of the largest margins in Wyoming election history. He was re-elected to his third term in the United States Senate in 2006 with 70 percent of the vote. Senator Thomas built a solid reputation as one of the most fiscally conservative members of Congress with a particular emphasis on addressing quality of life issues facing families in the rural American West.
Thomas authored landmark legislation to provide critical funding and management reforms to protect America's national parks into the 21st Century. His visionary legislation helped to ensure quality visits to our national parks. Senator Thomas' efforts were recognized by the National Parks and Conservation Association with their "William Penn Mott, Jr. Park Leadership Award" and subsequently with the National Parks Achievement award. Other legislative initiatives were instrumental in strengthening rural health care infrastructure by encouraging greater equity with urban counterparts, better affordability of services, and by attracting qualified health care professionals.
Craig Thomas was raised on a ranch near Cody, but made his home in Casper for more than 20 years. He attended public schools and graduated from the University of Wyoming in Laramie with a degree in Agriculture. After college, he served four years in the United States Marine Corps. He has served as vice president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau, and general manager of the Wyoming Rural Electric Association. Before his election to the U.S. House, he held office for five years in the Wyoming State Legislature. Craig is married to Susan Thomas, a public school teacher for special needs students. He has four grown children.
Under applicable Wyoming statute, the WYGOP has 15 days from notification of the vacancy to select three names to forward to the Governor for his selection. The Wyoming Republican Party will announce details of this process after the funeral.
“We will deliver a sound process for this critical selection, but want to focus tonight and in the coming days on what matters most, Senator Thomas, his legacy, and his family. Out of respect for the family, we ask that premature speculation be set aside and time be allowed for grieving.”