She cites oppressive dynamics within her former party
State Rep. Tricia Cotham, who won her district Mecklenburg district in the 2022 midterm election, has announced that she’s switching from the Democrat to the Republican party, giving the GOP a full supermajority.
A supermajority can override any veto from Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper, a governor who’s vetoed a record number of Republican bills.
In a speech given at an NCGOP press conference, Cotham said her reason is that the current Democract party is “unrecognizable” to her “and many others.”
“The party wants to villainize anyone who has free thought, free judgment, has solutions, who wants to get to work to better our state, not just sit in a meeting and have a workshop after a workshop, but really work with individuals to get things done, because that’s what real public servants do,” Cotham said. “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.”
Cotham said that when she arrived as a legislator in January 2023, it became clear she had to follow Cooper’s directives.
“I will not be controlled by anyone,” Cotham said. “I have always been a free thinker, a woman of faith, a person of independent judgment and of common sense. I have always tried to work across the aisle from day one and I’m proud of that work because that means we are working together as statesmen and stateswomen.”
Unfortunately, she said, within the Democrat party, working across the aisle is only talk with little action.
Since being a representative of the state, Cotham said she’s “suffered many attacks” from Democrats, which included her children being targeted.
“That is wrong, and I will not stand for that,” she said. “I will not be bullied by them, and I will protect my children and my family.”
Cotham said she believes that as a legislator, it’s her duty to hear all sides before deciding how to vote; however, the Democrats have become “afraid of independent thought.”