State Rep. Tricia Cotham, a Democratic legislator in North Carolina, is switching her political party and joining the GOP. Her decision will give Republicans a veto-proof majority in the state legislature.
During Wednesday’s announcement, Cotham slammed the Democrat Party saying, “The modern day Democratic Party 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.”
“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.” she finished.
Republicans, who are currently just one seat short of a supermajority in the legislature, have been hoping that state Rep. Tricia Cotham, a Democrat from Charlotte, might switch parties at some point this session, but the prospect began to seem more realistic last week, a Republican House member said according to Axios.
Like thousands of others, Rep. @TriciaCotham is done with the Democratic Party:
"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." pic.twitter.com/aheJEhFaZH
— GOP (@GOP) April 5, 2023
Switching parties is not an uncommon occurrence, but it’s also not a frequent one. The reasons for switching parties vary, but they can include personal ideology or ambition, a disagreement with party leadership, or in this case, perhaps all of the above.
“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,” Axios noted.
Cotham’s decision will solidify the Republicans’ foothold in the swing state, providing them with a veto-proof majority during the legislative session and a straightforward path to implementing their plans, despite resistance from Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.
North Carolina has been a traditionally competitive state in national elections, with both Republicans and Democrats winning statewide offices and presidential races. However, the state has leaned more Republican in recent years.
North Carolina’s politics were dominated by Democrats for much of the 20th century, but the state began to shift towards the Republican Party in the 1990s.
In the last 12 presidential elections, North Carolina has voted Democrat only twice (in 1976 and 2012), however, the state has become known as a ‘swing state.’