North Carolina GOP gains super majority as state representative switches party

 April 5, 2023

North Carolina Republicans scored a major victory this week after a Democratic lawmaker switched parties. 

According to the WRAL News, state Rep. Tricia Cotham joined the GOP on Tuesday, a move that will give the party a veto-proof supermajority in the legislature.

North Carolina GOP chairman "thrilled" that Cotham is joining the party

The station quoted a statement from North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley welcoming the former Democrat. It read, "We are thrilled to have Rep. Cotham join the Republican Party to advance solutions for North Carolina families."

"This announcement continues to reflect that the Democratic Party is too radical for North Carolina," Whatley continued.

"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 went on to insist.

Democrats were far less pleased by Cotham's decision, with House Minority Leader Robert Reives calling on her to step down.

Democratic House leader accuses Cotham of having misrepresented herself to voters

In a statement provided to the News and Observer on Tuesday, Reives accused Cotham of deceiving her constituents. They recalled how she ran last fall as a Democrat who supported abortion and gun control.

"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," Reives declared.

"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," the House minority leader continued.

"Those constituents deserved to know what values were most important to their elected representative," Reives complained.

Democratic governor calls party switch "a disappointing decision"

"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," he said.

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper wasn't impressed either, calling Cotham's move "a disappointing decision."

"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," Cooper was quoted by the News and Observer as saying in a statement of his own.

"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,” the governor concluded.

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