Birthdate: July 21, 1952
Birth Place: Reading, PA, United States
Residence: Casper, WY
First Elected: 2007
John Barrasso was born in Reading, Pa., and lives in Casper, Wyo. He earned a bachelor's degree and a medical degree from Georgetown University.
He is a doctor who practiced at Casper Orthopedic Associates from 1983 until 2007. He also has been chief of staff at the Wyoming Medical Center at Casper and president of the Wyoming Medical Society.
Barrasso was elected to the Wyoming Senate in 2002.
Soon after the death of Sen. Craig Thomas from leukemia, Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal appointed Barrasso to the U.S. Senate on June 22, 2007.
Barrasso was elected in 2008 to serve out the remaining four years of Thomas' term.
Barrasso and his second wife, Bobbi Brown, live in Casper, Wyo. He has three children.
John Barrasso has ascended to one of the top Republican leadership positions in the U.S. Senate since he started in the job in 2007.
He was appointed chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, ranking him fourth among the Senate Republican leadership.
He has staked out strong positions on issues important to his home state. He has opposed federal government overspending and has spoken out against what he considers federal government overregulation of the oil and gas and coal industries.
He has co-sponsored legislation that seeks to reduce government red tape and rules that he says restrict oil and gas development.
"We wake up in Washington and say, 'What do we have to stop from happening here in Washington today so it doesn't hurt or impact on our quality of life back home?'" he said in kicking off his 2012 campaign for his first full six-year term.
With his medical background, he has been one of the most vociferous critics of health care reform, taking to national airwaves to criticize the law passed in 2010 as cumbersome to business and ultimately ineffective.
He has become a spokesman for Republicans on other issues, also, such as the economy.
While a strong supporter of the oil and gas industry, he has opposed oil and gas drilling in much of the Wyoming Range, a scenic area in western Wyoming.
Other stances during his Senate career include: opposing proposals for massive government intervention during the economic recession; voting against the government bailout of the battered financial industry in October 2008; and joining other members of the Wyoming delegation in voting against President Barack Obama's economic stimulus bill in February 2009.
The budget watchdog group, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, says Barrasso has scored 91 percent over his career in its ratings of congressional votes opposing programs and spending the group considers wasteful.
The American Conservative Union says Barrasso has voted conservative positions 97 percent of the time over his years in the U.S. Senate.
Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal appointed Barrasso to the Senate in 2007 after Sen. Craig Thomas died in office. Barrasso won a special election in 2008 to fill out the remaining four years of Thomas' term. In 2012, he easily beat two little known challengers in the primary.
Previously, Barrasso was elected to the state Senate in 2002, running unopposed in both the primary and general election, and also was unopposed in 2006.
Barrasso was among the more conservative senators in the state Legislature. He sponsored a bill in 2007 that would have enabled a second homicide charge to be filed for killing a pregnant woman. The bill passed the Legislature but Freudenthal vetoed it, calling supporters' claims that the bill had nothing to do with abortion "disingenuous."
Barrasso in 2006 was one of just two members of the nine-person Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee who voted against a bill to help fund child care in the state.
Barrasso spoke in 2005 in favor of the so-called "Cheeseburger Bill," which prohibited people from suing restaurants for making them overweight.
"For people who are overweight, the answer is to accept personal responsibility," Barrasso said.
Source: Associated Press