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Wyoming U.S. Attorney Quits, Plays Coy on Senate Appointment

In a move that could signal his hopes to replace the late Sen. Craig Thomas, the U.S. Attorney for Wyoming, Matthew Mead, has resigned, effective immediately.

In an interview with The Washington Post's Dan Eggen, Mead said he submitted his resignation Wednesday and made it effective at the close of business today. But he declined to say whether he was in the running to replace Thomas, the Wyoming senator who died on Monday.

"This week is just not appropriate to be talking about that or thinking about that," Mead told Eggen. "Sen. Thomas had a great love for the state and the people loved him. I am especially grateful to him because he was the one who had faith in me and submitted my name for consideration by the president."

Under Wyoming's system, the state's Democratic governor, Dave Freudenthal, will choose from a slate of three candidates to replace Thomas. The names will be submitted by the Republican State Central Committee.

Mead acknowledged that he would have to step down as U.S. attorney in order to be considered for the Senate seat, but he said his decision should not be taken as confirmation that he is in the running for the job.

Mead, who became Wyoming's U.S. attorney in October 2001, received a bit of unwelcome attention last month when The Washington Post revealed that he was one of 30 federal prosecutors who had appeared on lists of U.S. attorneys considered for dismissal last year.

Mead's name appeared once, in January 2006, on a list compiled by D. Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. His name was never sent to the White House as a candidate for firing, according to sources who have seen the lists.

"I can tell you those silly lists didn't have anything to do with me leaving," Mead said, adding that his office has registered dramatic increases in prosecutions for gun violations, immigration offenses and other crimes during his tenure.

"It's a good time to leave if you're a believer in leaving when you're on top," Mead said.

By Paul Kane  |  June 7, 2007; 7:08 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

If the White House wanted to fire him he can't be all bad.

Posted by: mikeasr | June 8, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

He wasn't on the "silly list" because he was a good boy and did whatever Karl Rove told him to do. How can we ever have any faith that a Bush-appointed US attorney is anything but a political hack,loyal to Bush and Th Party rather than Constitution? How sad.

Posted by: thebob.bob | June 8, 2007 12:53 AM | Report abuse

He WAS on the silly list, bob.bob. Thats one of the main points of the article.

Posted by: Patrick Huss | June 8, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

This story really does not matter. I don't think that Mead will make into the final three. I think it will be Lynne Cheney, Colin Simpson and Max MAxfield. Hopefully, Lynne Cheney or Colin Simpson will be picked! Either way, a great senator will be succeeded by another.

Posted by: John B. | June 8, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

That isn't a display of coyness, it's just an indication of how evasive and dishonest he will be in the Senate. He will join the greatest gathering of obfuscators in existence.

The only other qualification for this "august" body is being a millionaire.

Posted by: Doubtom | June 8, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

This story really doesn't matter because the infamous, though anonymous, John B. doesn't think it matters.
Paul Kane would you please avoid wasting all of our time with these useless articles by at least submitting them to John B. first. Thanks.

Posted by: Patrick Huss | June 8, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

If he was originally on the list but did NOT get fired, it means he saw the error of his ways and is a Bushie through and through, even if he only drank the Kool-Aid belatedly.

No way a Democrat should appoint him to the Senate.

Posted by: theRealCalGal | June 8, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

When Gov. Dave Freudenthal chooses from the slate of three Republican candidates, he should append a signing statement asserting that in reality he will be appointing whomever the hell he chooses.

Posted by: Vulture Breath | June 8, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Will the Democratic Governor choose the one of the three who is most susceptible to being beaten in the 2008 Senate race?

Posted by: DC | June 8, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

That is an excellent question DC.

Posted by: Patrick Huss | June 8, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

LYNN CHENEY IS WHO WE NEED. ANOTHER BORN-AGAIN CORRUPT POLITICIAN.

Posted by: JOHN W. KLINE | June 9, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

There is no valid reason for Governor Freudenthal to pass over the clearly most qualified person in the state for this interem appointment even if he is a Democrat.
Why not appoint Mike Sullivan?

Posted by: Lee Bonham | June 11, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

One would hopefully suspect that Lynne Cheney is not like father. We are in trouble for another 4 to6 years,or whatever is the remainer of Thomas' term in the Senate.

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