A North Carolina Democrat has reached her limit with her party and announced that she is switching to the Republicans.
State Rep. Tricia Cotham, a Democrat from Charlotte, won her seat in a district that voted for Biden by 23 points.
She has just switched to the GOP.
This move gives the Republicans a veto-proof majority over Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper.
Cooper has been using his veto power to block the Republicans’ agenda.
The Democrats can only blame themselves for the epic loss.
The fallout happened when Cotham skipped a vote to override Cooper’s veto of a GOP gun law which allowed the bill to pass.
Her Democrat colleagues went ballistic and now they have no power in a crucial swing state.
Rep. Cecil Brockman, a moderate Democrat, didn’t blame Cotham for the move: “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.
Gov. Cooper said: “Rep. Cotham’s votes on women’s reproductive freedom, election laws, LGBTQ rights, and strong public schools will determine the direction of the state we love.
“It’s hard to believe she would abandon these long-held principles and she should still vote the way she has always said she would vote when these issues arise, regardless of party affiliation.”
Please join me in welcoming Representative Tricia Cotham to the Republican Party! https://t.co/ClzA6pevST
— David Merrill (@DavidMMerrill) April 5, 2023
Big win. Welcome to the @NCHouseGOP Caucus @triciacotham!!! #ncga #ncpol https://t.co/pTlbOxtfop
— Alfredo Rodriguez (@DyceComms) April 4, 2023
I have to say, I genuinely did not see this coming. That’s a Biden +23 seat and she wasn’t really a right-wing Democrat by rhetoric either. pic.twitter.com/tdlBtUlR3f
— Lakshya Jain (@lxeagle17) April 4, 2023
According to WRAL:
Before a House session late Tuesday afternoon, lawmakers and legislative staffers cleaned out Cotham’s desk, then moved her seat from the Democratic side of the chamber to the Republican side.
Cotham then walked in with an entourage of Republicans including Rep. John Bell, the House Majority Leader. Later in the day, her Twitter account liked a tweet welcoming her to the GOP.
It’s the biggest political bombshell at the state legislature in recent years.
Others have switched parties, but not since a bribery scandal 20 years ago — which briefly resulted in an evenly tied House of Representatives, and eventually led to a top Democrat being sent to prison — has any state legislator affected the balance of power by switching sides in the middle of a legislative session.
Cotham didn’t respond to requests for comment by text or email.
Asked multiple times in person, she initially remained silent but finally told WRAL News: “Press conference tomorrow” and walked away, escorted by Republican House Speaker Tim Moore’s bodyguard.
She is scheduled to attend a press conference at the headquarters of the state Republican Party on Wednesday.
While it was clear Tuesday that Cotham had aligned herself with the GOP, details of exactly how she plans to do so were not clear.
She could officially switch her party affiliation to Republican. She could also technically remain a Democrat on paper, or switch to being an unaffiliated voter, but sit and vote with Republicans in the legislature.
Regardless, Democrats made clear that she was no longer one of them.
READ MORE: Louisiana Democrat Switches Parties, Giving Republicans Historic Power Gain