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Tipsheet

NC Democratic Lawmaker Switches Parties, Handing Republicans Veto-Proof Supermajority

AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum

A Democratic state representative in North Carolina announced Wednesday that she will switch political parties and become a Republican, giving the state House a GOP supermajority.

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State Rep. Tricia Cotham represents a Democrat-leaning district near Charlotte. At a press conference on Wednesday, Cotham shared that she no longer recognizes the Democratic Party.

“The modern day Democratic has become unrecognizable to me and to so many others throughout this state and this country. The party wants to villainize anyone who has free thought, free judgment, has solutions, who wants to get to work to better our state, not just sit in a meeting and have a workshop after a workshop, but really work with individuals to get things done because that’s what real public servants do,” Cotham said. “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.”

According to the Raleigh-based News & Observer, Cotham’s party switch would hand Republicans control of 72 out of 120 House seats, giving the party seats to override vetoes from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper without any votes from Democrats. The state Senate already has a Republican supermajority, controlling 30 of 50 seats.

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“Even in a Biden district in a purple state, Democrats are reading the writing on the wall: liberal policies are too extreme and they’re failing Americans. Ahead of 2024, Republican momentum is growing and we are proud to welcome Tricia Cotham to the Republican Party,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Townhall of Cotham’s announcement.

The News & Observer noted that House Minority Leader Robert Reives called on Cotham to resign because she campaigned as a Democrat in support of abortion and civil rights and that her constituents “elected her to serve as that person and overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.” 

“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,” Reives said in a statement to the outlet. “Those constituents deserved to know what values were most important to their elected representative.”

Reportedly, Cotham, who supported abortion, told local news outlet WBTV that she is open to abortion restrictions in the state.

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Michael Whatley, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, said that Cotham’s announcement “continues to reflect that the Democratic Party is too radical for North Carolina.”

“The values of the Republican Party align with voters, and the people of Mecklenburg County should be proud to have her representation in Raleigh,” he added.

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