A Democratic state representative in North Carolina will reportedly announce she intends to switch parties, handing a supermajority to Republicans in the legislature, Democrat officials in the state say.
Rep. Tricia Cotham, a Democrat representing the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been urged to resign by her fellow Democratic colleagues over her impending announcement that she intends to join the Republican Party, WCNC News reported. House Democratic leader Robert Reives and State party chair Anderson Clayton called her forthcoming switch a “betrayal” of the voters who “overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates up and down the ballot,” the outlet stated.
Cotham is scheduled to join Republican House Speaker Tim Moore at the North Carolina Republican Party headquarters in Raleigh for a news conference April 5 where it is expected she will make her switch official, WCNC News reported. By joining the Republicans, Cotham will hand a supermajority to the party in the legislature, giving Republicans veto power over Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, Axios Raleigh reported.
“I’m sad it has come to this,” Mecklenburg County commissioner Pat Cotham said of her daughter Tricia’s anticipated party affiliation flip — a move that hands North Carolina Republicans a veto-proof majority. https://t.co/DWmGc2mgnC
— Axios Charlotte (@axioscharlotte) April 4, 2023
“Rep. Tricia Cotham campaigned as a Democrat and supporter of abortion rights, health care, public education, gun safety, and civil rights. The voters of House District 112 elected her to serve as that person and overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates up and down the ballot,” Reives said in a statement cited by WCNC News.
“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. Those constituents deserved to know what values were most important to their elected representative,” he continued.
“She no longer represents the values constituents trusted her to champion, and should resign immediately,” Clayton tweeted.
As Cotham has not yet made a public statement regarding her intentions, it is not known what pushed her to switch parties. Her colleague, moderate Democrat Rep. Cecil Brockman, believes that her decision to switch was hastened by recent blowback she received from her peers after skipping a vote to override Cooper’s veto on a Republican-backed bill relaxing gun laws in the state, Axios Raleigh reported. (RELATED: Town’s Entire Leadership Flees Democratic Party, Joins The GOP)
“I think she just wanted to do what’s best for her district and when you’re constantly talked about and trashed — especially the way that we have been over the past few weeks — I think this is what happens,” Brockman said, according to the outlet.