Democrats in North Carolina were dealt a huge blow this week when a legislator departed the party and switched over to the GOP, giving the Republican party a veto-proof majority in the state government.
State Representative Tricia Cotham announced her decision to switch parties earlier this week, saying:
“The modern-day Democratic Party has become unrecognizable to me and others across the state. I will not be controlled by anyone. 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. They have pushed me out.
“The party wants to villainize anyone who has free thought, free judgment, has solutions and wants to get to work to better our state.”
Cotham further said she has a big desire to work with individuals in the state House to try to get many things done, “because that is what real public servants do.”
One of the major factors that went into Cotham’s decision to leave the Democratic Party was when she was verbally attacked and criticized on social media platforms after she posted a message with the American flag as well as the praying hands emoji.
She said that Democrats have been “blasting me on Twitter to calling me names, coming after my family, coming after my children.”
Cotham described that while she was shopping at a store with her son recently, people verbally abused her. She then added:
“I am still the same person, and I am going to do what I believe is right and follow my conscience.”
Cotham’s switch in parties should be a huge wake-up call for Democrats in North Carolina. It’s not as though Cotham is a moderate or leans conservative on certain issues. She’s been in the state legislature, serving for the Democratic Party, for five consecutive terms. She was just re-elected to her post this year.
The New York Times also reported that Cotham’s most recent campaign was based on a “platform of raising the minimum wage, protecting voting rights and bolstering LGBTQ rights.” Those are all very liberal issues, for sure, which makes her departure from the Democrats over to the Republicans even more damaging for liberals in North Carolina.
In fact, at one point in time while serving in the state House, she gave a floor speech where she revealed that she had an abortion in the past. She said it was a “deeply personal decision” she made, accusing Republican lawmakers of just trying to “play doctor.”
But, now, Cotham has said that she’s changed her mind and would consider supporting certain new restrictions on abortions in North Carolina.
Michael Whatley, the chair of the state GOP, said in a statement about Cotham’s switch recently:
“This 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.”