Sen. Craig Thomas Dies of Leukemia

Conservative stayed aloof from Washington in-fighting
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2007 5:41 AM CDT
Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo. gestures during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Okla. in this Jan. 18, 1996 file photo. Thomas, who has been battling leukemia, is listed in serious condition at Bethesda...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Craig Thomas, GOP Senator from Wyoming, died yesterday of  leukemia at age 74. The popular conservative congressman began his Senate career in 1994; he was in the hospital when he was reelected by 70% of the vote last year, and announced his diagnosis shortly afterward.

The low-key Thomas, who focused on public lands issues, won his first seat in Congress in a special election in 1989 to replace Dick Cheney. His death will not change the delicate balance of power in the Senate;  by law, the Democratic governor of Wyoming is obliged to appoint a Republican to replace him.