by david peck
Rep. Elaine Harvey of Lovell staved off a strong challenge from Tea Party activist Rob DiLorenzo of Emblem to capture the Republican nomination for the Wyoming House District 26 seat she has held for 10 years.
Harvey carried the Big Horn County vote 1,190-670, winning 64 percent of the vote to 36 percent for DiLorenzo, according to unofficial votes announced by the Big Horn County Clerk’s Office Tuesday night. She also carried the portion of Park County that she represents, receiving 46 votes to 19 for her challenger — 71 percent to 29 percent.
Harvey will now advance to the General Election, and barring a write-in nomination on the Democratic ticket or a write-in challenge from DiLorenzo this fall, she will be unopposed and elected to her sixth term in November.
Harvey carried seven of eight precincts in Big Horn County, winning big in her home precinct of Lovell, 511-214 (70-30 percent) and in Cowley, 165-57 (74-26 percent). She also carried Frannie 33-9, Byron 79-75, Emblem 28-12, Greybull 276-223 and Shell 74-55. DiLorenzo carried Deaver 25-24.
“I’m thrilled,” Harvey said at the North Big Horn County Election Party at the Bank of Lovell Tuesday night. “I don’t take votes lightly, and I appreciate those who supported me along the way. This renews my faith in House District 26 that people wouldn’t let a carpetbagger come in and take over politics.”
Harvey was referring to the fact that DiLorenzo has lived in Wyoming for less than 10 years after practicing law in California for many years.
“I will continue to do my best to serve my constituents individually and collectively,” Harvey continued. “I love this area, and I want to see it succeed.”
Harvey said the hard-fought election has had at least one positive effect, making her hone her message.
“It’s made me introspective,” she said. “I’ve had to look inside myself and say this is how I’ve voted all these years and this is who I am. I’ve had to articulate my message.”
Harvey added, however, that she didn’t like the negative tone of her opponent’s campaign.
“In our state term limits are at the polls,” she said. “I would just hope that every candidate would run on his or her merits instead of trying to tear down the other candidate. If I can’t run on my own merits – on statewide issues and supporting the local area – then I shouldn’t run.
“There were many times in his message where I wondered if he was running for a national office and not House District 26. I seldom heard what he stood for, and I seldom heard him answer a direct question. The legislature is more than philosophy, it’s action.”