Laramie, WY – Newly appointed Wyoming Senator John Barrasso has already raised more than $650,000 to get an early start on his election bid next year.
Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal appointed the Republican to replace Senator Craig Thomas, who died in early June. Barrasso must run for election in November 2008 to fill out Thomas's term.
Barrasso raised the money since July 1 at a variety of fundraisers, including a September event near Jackson that featured Vice President Dick Cheney. Barrasso's campaign had about 600-thousand dollars in the bank as of the end of that month.
Shawn Whitman is chief of staff for Barrasso. Whitman says the fundraising so far has been a tremendous boost for the senator.
The special Senate election means that Wyoming's political season will be busy next year. All three members of the state's congressional delegation will either be running for election or re-election. No Democrats have announced yet that they intend to run against Barrasso.