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Tipsheet

North Carolina Rep Explains the 'Final Straw' That Prompted Her to Leave the Democratic Party

AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum

North Carolina state Rep. Tricia Cotham, who switched political parties this week from Democrat to Republican, spoke on "Fox & Friends First" Thursday morning to explain the "final straw" that led to her decision. 

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While she said it was many things, Cotham pointed to how she recently "did not push a button the party and the governor wanted me to vote," which prompted a flurry of attack ads and calls for her resignation. 

As Axios reported, "Cotham recently skipped a vote to override Cooper's veto of Republican-sponsored legislation relaxing some gun laws, handing Republicans the votes they needed to usher the bill into law."

Cotham said the treatment she received was an example of the "cancel culture that has taken over the Democratic Party."

She also said her colleagues took issue with her praying and wearing camouflage, telling her she was "not a good person" or a "real Democrat" for doing so. 

"The list really goes on and on," she said. "This is what happens when you have extremists take over the party with radical groups."

Cotham's switch gives the GOP a veto-proof supermajority in the legislature.

In announcing her decision on Wednesday, she said the "Democratic Party has become unrecognizable to me and to so many others throughout this state and this country."

She added: “The Party wants to villainize anyone who has free thought, free judgment, has solutions. If you don’t do exactly what the Democrats want you to do, they will try to bully you. They will try to cast you aside.”

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The move prompted calls for her resignation.

“Now, just a few months later, Rep. Cotham is changing parties. That is not the person that was presented to the voters of House District 112. That is not the person those constituents campaigned for in a hard primary, and who they championed in a general election in a 60% Democratic district,” Democratic House Minority Leader Robert Reives said in a statement. “Those constituents deserved to know what values were most important to their elected representative.”

“Because of that, the appropriate action is for her to resign so that her constituents are fairly represented in the North Carolina House of Representatives,” Reives added.

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