"The death of GOP Sen. Craig Thomas will not affect the balance of power in the Senate. Wyoming bars a governor from appointing someone of the opposite party to replace a deceased lawmaker. The state GOP will select three potential replacements and submit those names to Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D), who will then choose one for the vacancy. The entire process will happen in the next 15-20 days. A special election to fill the remainder of Thomas' term will be held in November 2008. As with any death of an elected official, the politics of the appointment process will be something to watch. Freudenthal is likely the best candidate Democrats could come up with to run in the special election, so he may be appointing a future political opponent. In years past, there has been idle speculation of Lynne Cheney's interest in running for office. Don't be surprised if her name pops up at some point in this process."