Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., welcomed John Barrasso as his fellow Wyoming U.S. senator today. Barrasso will serve in the U.S. Senate through January of 2009. A special election in November 2008 will decide who will finish Senator Craig Thomas ' term through 2012.
Enzi made the following comments on the floor of the U.S. Senate today:
"John is a capable person with legislative experience. He has handled legislation critical to Wyoming. He knows the process. He can work across the aisle. He is quiet, but capable and efficient. We work well together and I’m excited and ready to lead our Wyoming team in Washington now that we have a full roster.
"I’ve known John for years, even before we were part of the same primary election. I appreciated him pitching in and helping me get elected after that primary. He showed character and statesmanship, two of the qualities necessary to do this job well. He then ran for Wyoming Senate and was elected and then reelected with no opposition, which shows what a good job he was doing.
"His medical background will be a huge help here as well as all of the knowledge he picked up working the issues in the Wyoming Legislature. When you serve in the Wyoming Legislature you have to make decisions every year on about 500 different issues. You can’t just cherry pick the ones you are interested in. This variety of Wyoming issues gives him great background for jumping in Monday, hitting the ground running and doing a great job for Wyoming. He can work across the aisle. I have had the pleasure of working with John over the years and now I look forward to doing that much more closely now.
"He’s very pleased that both of his children, Pete and Emma, have graduated from high school. He has been able to watch them grow up in an involved way through the years. Now that they go to college, he can come to Washington. I know this is something he very interested in doing. He and his family will be very excited about it and will be great participants. I want to welcome newest member of the U.S. Senate and let everyone know we are looking forward to him joining a great team with his extreme capability.
"The Wyoming GOP and Fred Parady, state party chairman, as well as Governor Freudenthal did their jobs well. There were so many people interested in the Senate seat and Fred managed the whole process efficiently during a difficult time. Any one of the three candidates, who in addition to John included Tom Sansonetti and Cynthia Lummis, would have done an outstanding job. I have worked personally with all of them I am appreciative of the governor for the thorough and professional job he did with his interviews that were complete with 42 national issue areas he is concerned about. He said he was going to pick the person he thought best for Wyoming and I congratulate him for that.
"Wyoming is a good example for the rest of the nation to follow. No one will be able to replace Craig Thomas, but working with John, I will ensure that representation of Wyoming in the U.S. Senate remains second to none."