A number of lifelong Republicans gathered at Kerry-Edwards headquarters in Denver on Monday to endorse Democrats this year.
Members of the group said they had soured for various reasons on President Bush's policies and would not support his re-election.
At the same rally, Mayor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, formally endorsed John Kerry and John Edwards, saying he had studied promises, pledges and records of both parties and believed Kerry is the better choice for president.
"My decision wasn't based on partisanship," he said. It was based on the number of manufacturing jobs that have been lost, the number of households filing for bankruptcy, the rising cost of insurance and the loss of wages during the Bush tenure, Hickenlooper said.
Jon DeStefano, a Republican and former president of the Jefferson County Public Schools board, said, "Bush promised leadership and unifying America, but Americans are not working together.
"I am aware of the tragedy in Iraq. I don't believe there ever has been a president (who) has caused such a tragedy."
Harold Anderson, co-owner of a small medical equipment company who actively supported Republican presidential candidates all his life, said, "This president is forgetting the middle class.
"We don't need a super leader, but a man who can admit when he makes mistakes."
Bill Winter, a Colorado native who formerly served both in the Marine Corps and Navy, worked for presidential bid of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
"My disillusionment with the Republican Party started when we watched Congress spending so much time trying to impeach Bill Clinton when there were so many other urgent things that needed to be done," he said.
"I disagree with the Iraq policy and am tired of people who never served a day in the military telling me I am a traitor for it.
"I can't support a party that is that narrow-minded."
For Lou Raskin, a 66-year-old Boulder resident, it was when he saw the GOP shift to the religious right.
"I served in the Air Force and worked for 27 years in the aerospace industry," he said. "And since the 1970s, I've seen this country become more and more polarized."
Maria Azari, a Rhode Island transplant, said it was the party's stand on abortion rights.
"This president wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade and we need Kerry to protect a woman's right to choose," she said.
Kerry officials said the Republicans came forward asking for a forum after an Associated Press story quoted Mary Lou Halliburton, a retired tax lawyer who worked in the Nixon administration, saying said she was fed up with the direction of her party.
© Copyright 2004 The E.W. Scripps Co.