Casper, Wy –
Candidates to replace Senator Craig Thomas want to reform the endangered species act health care social security and rein in spending. 26 of 30 candidates appeared at a forum in Casper that was broadcast statewide and explained their view points on a wide range of questions. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck has more
Candidate takes : out: normal .
. What was unusual was when they differed. On the hot button issue of stopping leasing in the Wyoming range a bill that was being drafted by Senator Thomas when he died Colin Simpson said he had not read the bill and did not say whether he supported the concept. Although he agrees that drilling should be limited in some areas of the state. While most say the endangered species act needs to be reformed Randall Luthi who currently works for the US fish and wildlife service stated that the act is a failure and wants states to have more of a role in the process. Ton Sansonetti says the wolf issue is an example of what is wrong with the act. On the issue of health care Ron Micheli called for offering incentive programs to the private sector so they can bring about reform. And on No Child Left Behind Cynthia Lummis says she would prefer a system where block grants are sent to states with simple guidelines on how money should be spent. All candidates opposed an early withdrawal from Iraq. Cale Case wants reform of both social security and lobbying saying that congress is fairly corrupt. Tomorrow, the Wyoming republican central committee will narrow the list of candidates to three and Governor Freudenthal will choose a replacement from that list.
Parady on forum
Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Fred Parady says that despite its size a 26 person forum in Casper was a success. Parady says it allowed citizens and the Wyoming Republican Central committee to get another feel about what candidates would do if they were chosen to replace former Senator Craig Thomas in the U-S Senate. Thomas died in early June. The central committee needs to reduce 30 names to three. Parady says committee members are listening for a few key things, such as how the candidates match up with Senator Thomas and whether they will run again in 2008. Only one of the candidates Ray Hunkins says he will not run for office if chosen for the job. Parady says the comments by the candidates show that the Republicans have a very strong bench. The selection process begins Tuesday morning at eight in Casper.