Late last month, Lora Rae Anderson, the former chair of the College Republicans of Wisconsin, announced she would not be renewing her membership in the Republican Party of Wisconsin for 2010. At the time of her announcement, Anderson cited her discontent with the direction of the Republican Party, which had taken a sharp turn to the far right of the political spectrum. Anderson also cited an incident in which the Eau Claire County Republican Chairman, Brian Westrate, used “cultural insults and racial slurs” during an argument on Facebook with some of Anderson’s liberal friends as being part of her decision to not renew her membership in the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
In a new development to Lora Rae Anderson’s story, she announced at a press conference earlier today that she has not only left the Republican Party, but that she has joined the Democratic Party. I had a chance to speak to Lora Rae about her decision to join the Democratic Party, and she told me her decision came only after careful consideration led her to the realization that the Republican Party was moving further and further to the right, and in doing so was making it clear there was no room for those who weren’t “ideologically pure.” Lora Rae also noted her decision to join the Democratic Party came about because she wanted to make it crystal clear that she will no longer be voting for Republicans because they’ve veered too far to the right. One thing Lora Rae did make clear is that she considers herself to be center-left in her beliefs, so she hasn’t shifted her beliefs too dramatically.
Asked how she expected her decision to join the Democratic Party to be met by her conservative friends and associates, Lora Rae noted reaction to her previous press release was almost universally criticized by conservatives, so she expects she’ll be criticized for her most recent decision.
Here’s video of Lora Rae Anderson announcing her decision to join the Democratic Party of Wisconsin: