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John Antony Barrasso, a Republican, has been the junior senator from Wyoming since 2007. (map) He was chosen on June 22, 2007 by Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal to replace Sen. Craig Thomas, who had recently died of leukemia. Barrasso's appointment was temporary until a special election for the seat was held in 2008 which Barrasso then won. The election was to fill the remaining four years of Mr. Thomas's term.
- 1 Record and controversies
- 2 Bio
- 3 Speculation that occurred about 2008 special election
- 4 Money in politics
- 5 Committees and affiliations
- 6 More background data
- 7 Contact
- 8 Articles and resources
Record and controversies
For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal
John Barrasso has voted in favor of big oil companies on 100% of important oil related bills, according to Oil Change International. These bills include Iraq War funding, climate change studies, clean energy, and oil import reductions.  See below for oil and coal money in politics.
Barrasso is considered a "conservative" and is "pro-life," although he has changed his position on this issue. He previously ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for the Senate in 1996 for the seat vacated by the moderate Alan Simpson of Cody, an abortion-rights supporter. In 1996, Barrasso characterized himself as "pro-choice." He lost the primary to anti-abortion advocate Mike Enzi. While in the the State Senate, he received an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association.
In his application to fill Thomas' seat in 2007, Barrasso expressed that he would be a conservative voice in Washington. He wrote, "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."
Barrasso graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with a bachelor of science degree in 1974. He received his medical degree from Georgetown in 1978. He conducted his residency at Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut.
In addition to a private practice, he served as chief of staff of the Wyoming Medical Center, state president of the Wyoming Medical Society, president of the National Association of Physician Broadcasters, and a member of the American Medical Association Council of Ethics and Judicial Affairs.
He also served as a member of the board of directors of "Presidential Classroom," a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that brings young people to Washington to learn about their national government. Barrasso was also a member of the Casper Chamber of Commerce and the Casper Rotary Club.
Barrasso was elected to the Wyoming State Senate in 2002 and re-elected in 2006.
In the State Senate, he served on the following committees:
- Labor, Health and Social Services Committee
- Select Committee on Legislative Technology
- Department of Health Advisory Council
- NCSL - Labor and Workforce Development
- NCSL - Transportation
- CSG West - Trade & Transportation
- Chairman: Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs
Speculation that occurred about 2008 special election
After Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) appointed Barrasso over former state Treasurer Cynthia Lummis (R) and one-time Craig Thomas Chief of Staff Tom Sansonetti, a former state GOP chairman, many Wyoming Republicans geared for the possibility of challenging Barrasso in the 2008 special election. In his application for the Senate seat, Barrasso already expressed his intention to seek the final four years of Thomas' term. Ambitious Wyoming Republicans were refusing to rule out challenging either him or Rep. Barbara Cubin in next year's GOP primaries.
Matt Mead (R), a U.S. attorney who resigned so he could apply for the Senate vacancy, commented "I haven’t ruled anything out yet," hinting that he may make a bid for Barrasso's seat. Mead's grandfather, Clifford Hansen, served the state as governor and Senator.
State Rep. Colin Simpson (R), the Majority Floor Leader of the Wyoming House of Representatives and the son former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), also declined to rule out running for federal office in 2008, even if that means challenging Barrasso or Cubin in a primary.
Cynthia Lummis, one of the choices for Thomas' seat, said in an interview that she would not run against Cubin in a primary, citing her status as a sitting Republican officeholder, but she said she was contemplating a bid against Barrasso because she did not view him as a traditional incumbent. "That is an interim appointment, so that is a different circumstance," she commented.
Democrats also considered running for the seat, as Barrasso would only have served 18 months Election Day 2008. State Sen. Mike Massie, 2002 gubernatorial candidate Paul Hickey and former state Rep. Patrick Hacker all considered a bid. Barrasso faced and defeated Democrat Nick Carter for the senate seat in the 2008 election.
Money in politics
Oil and coal money in politics
John Barrasso has received $136,400 in oil contributions during the 110th congress. $110,500 of those dollars were from industry PACS. These numbers make Barrasso one of the top recipients of oil and coal money in the Senate. In addition to oil money, Barrasso has accepted $82,250 in coal contributions during the 110th congress. $70,000 of those dollars were from industry PACS . See above for oil and energy voting record.
Committees and affiliations
More background data
307 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
100 East B Street, Suite 2201
Casper, Wyoming 82602
Phone: (307) 261-6413
Fax: (307) 265-6706
2120 Capitol Avenue, Suite 2013
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001
Phone: (307) 772-2451
Fax: (307) 638-3512
Rock Springs Office:
2632 Foothills Boulevard, #101
Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901
Phone: (307) 362-5012
Fax: (307) 362-5129
325 West Main, Suite F
Riverton, Wyoming 82501
Phone: (307) 856-6642
Fax: (307) 856-5901
2 North Main, Suite 206
Sheridan, Wyoming 82801
Phone: (307) 672-6456
Fax: (307) 672-8227
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- 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.
- 2008 Wyoming Election Results, The New York Times, accessed January 2011.
- Vote Tracker
- 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.
- David M. Drucker. "Wyoming Political Scene Still Unsettled," Roll Call. June 27, 2007.
- Follow the Oil Money-Senate
- Vote Tracker
- Wyoming Senate Members Site
- Health Grades (Medical Research Site)
- National Science Bowl 2006
- CSN News
- Unique Opportunities Magazine for Physicians May 2000
- Barrasso Official Statement
- See how you compare to John Barrasso
- Follow the Oil Money-Senate
- Vote Tracker
- Follow the Coal Money- Senate
- Appalachian Voices
|Current Office: U.S. Senate|
Ranking Member On:
Ranking Member On:
|Committees: Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on National Parks, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Water and Power, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming Oversight and Children's Health Protection, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs|
|First Elected to Current Office:
Appointed June 25, 2007 and won special election November 4, 2008
|First Took Current Office:
June 25, 2007
November 6, 2012
|Previous Political Work?
|Other Party Membership:|
|Zip Code Affiliations:|
Date of Birth: July 21, 1952