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And then there were 10.

The Wyoming Republican Party early Tuesday afternoon narrowed down the field of candidates vying to replace the late Sen. Craig Thomas (R), with attorney Tom Sansonetti leading the pack.

According to a knowledgeable Republican source, the state GOP central committee, in secret-ballot voting that began this morning, narrowed the original list of 30 applicants.

The 10 still in the mix, according the level of support they received in the first round of voting, are Sansonetti; state Sen. John Barrasso; rancher and former state legislator Ron Micheli; former state Treasurer Cynthia Lummis; rancher Frank Moore; former state legislator Randall Luthi, who also is a one-time aide to former Rep. Dick Cheney (R-Wyo.) and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.); just-resigned U.S. Attorney Matt Mead; attorney Paul Kruse; state House of Representatives Majority Floor Leader Colin Simpson, who is the son of former Sen. Simpson; and attorney Bruce Asay.

Later today, the 71-member GOP panel is voting to forward three names of possible Senate replacements to Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D), who is charged by state law with making the final selection within five days of receiving the list of finalists.

— David M. Drucker

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