In 2008 when Barrack Obama won the presidency and democrats controlled the house and senate the Republican Party was declared dead. However to the right of mainstream republicans a new movement arose, the tea party. The more conservative arm of the party also found some fans in Wyoming. David Koch has more.
DAVID KOCH: Tea party activist Jo Walker moved to Cody in 2009 from Portland Oregon because in her mind, it had become too liberal,
JO WALKER: You have to do something. We have a responsibility to ourselves to our nation and to our children and our grandchildren to protect, to rescue our founding fathers vision our nation because there is a large slide people don’t like it, towards socialism slash communism in our nation”
KOCH: Walker did in fact find those of a like mind and a large Tea Party movement in the Big Horn Basin. A person who shares in Walkers views and many others in the local Tea Party is one if it’s founders Robin Berry of Cody.
ROBIN BERRY: when your representatives are not necessarily saying what you would have them to say or voting in the matter of how you would have them to vote all you can do is contact them. And the frustration levels of a lot of people at the same time and I think a part of it was the mass spending going on and the um just the feeling of helplessness that a lot of people banded together and said ok lot of enough is enough
KOCH: Robin is also the wife of State Senate Candidate Bob Berry who is trying to replicate a string of tea party upsets throughout the nation and represent Tea Party views in the Wyoming Senate. Berry is running against longtime Cody Senator Hank Coe. Berry says there is certainly Tea Party interest in the Big Horn Basin.
BOB BERRY: Primarily I started this and with the other folks I started this with because we saw government getting way to powerful way to imperial if you will way to much like we had in 1776 with king George. And I think the movement in the this basin in this county has been tremendous the people are really irritated with their elected officials.”
KOCH: In this year’s primary Tea party members are represented in nearly every race in Park, Washakie, Hot Springs, and Big Horn counties. Another tea party candidate who is challenging a long serving republican is Rob Delorenzo, Delorenzo is challenging Republican House District 26 Representative Elaine Harvey from Lovell who is seeking her 6th term. Delorenzo echoes other tea party sentiments that their representatives are not conservative enough, he says a group of concerned citizens,
ROB DELORENZO: Gave me call and wanted to meet with me to run, were very concerned and they asked me to run, were very concerned and uh, they asked me to do this and they felt that district 26 needed a change it needed a more conservative republican in the house in Cheyenne and they asked me to do it “
KOCH: Across the state other conservative candidates are running against established Republicans. While they are not all members of the Tea Party, Berry is excited.
BOB BERRY: I think it’s going be tremendous I think it’s been a real eye opener to me even since I’ve been in this movement since 09 the people that I have talked to that are just fed up and want a real change to basic principles that we grew up with, so I think it’s going be a tremendous impact nationally and particularly here in Park County.
KOCH: The primary election is August 21st.