Wren was also one of the nicest local Republicans I know. A former president of the state College Republicans, he has been quite active in the party for three decades. He played the sacrificial lamb in a state legislature race for a Democrat-dominated Denver district only a few years ago.
So Wren's announcement that he has become a Democrat was quite a surprise to me. In his own words:
The final blows were: 1) A note I got from a Denver Republican volunteer telling me that if I was prolife, they wouldn’t help me as a precinct committee person, making concrete the underlying current in the Denver GOP; 2) I was sensitive to this issue ever since I’d had no cooperation from a former Republican district captain because of the same issue; and 3) Finally, when Denver GOP leaders were so forceful about their support of pro-death candidate Rudi Giuliani. It became clear it was time for me to leave.
The incongruity between the opinions of local party leaders and the policies of their state and national parties very easily goes unnoticed, especially if one only reads partisan periodicals. Wren's impressions of the city GOP remind me of similar tensions I've seen within the Jeffco GOP even after only minimal attention, as when a local Republican, on pro-choice grounds, endorsed in a television commercial a Democratic U.S. Representative candidate.
John Wren says "what makes the most sense politically is to join the majority party in your county if you are interested in helping improve local government." That kind of localism is admirable, and it usually is overshadowed by state or national disputes. I wish him the best of luck in his new party.