Laramie, WY – Governor Freudenthal has selected John Barrasso to be Wyoming's next senator. He was appointed today (Friday) to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Craig Thomas earlier this month. Barrasso says he'll use his new job as a U.S. Senator to promote issues that are close to the hearts of Wyoming residents. The surgeon and former state senator from Casper says he'll work to make sure public lands are open to multiple use, while also working to protect the environment. Barrasso also said he would take up the cause of rural health care, which was one of Thomas's top priorities. Barrasso officially became a senator when the U.S. Senate secretary was notified of the appointment by Governor Dave Freudenthal's office. He'll be sworn in next week.