Republicans Gain Incredible Power as North Carolina Democrat Switches Parties


Republicans in the swing state of North Carolina have been given a massive boost that could solidify their hold on state politics for the immediate future.

Democratic state Rep. Tricia Cotham switched parties to become a Republican on Wednesday, giving the GOP a supermajority in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly.

Following the midterm elections, Republicans were just one seat short of having a supermajority. This meant that despite their having held control of the legislature for a decade, the threat of a veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper kept their agenda in check.

With Cotham’s party switch, the GOP has a veto-proof majority and can enact its agenda despite opposition from the governor.

Axios speculated that Cotham’s switch was motivated by the backlash she received from the Democrats after she skipped a vote to override the governor’s veto of a GOP pistol-permitting bill. This gave Republicans the votes they needed to override the veto.

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She told reporters she made the move because the “modern-day Democratic party has become unrecognizable to me and to so many others throughout this state and this country.”

“The party wants to villainize anyone who has free thought, free judgment, has solutions,” Cotham said Wednesday.

“If you don’t do exactly what the Democrats want you to do, they will try to bully you,” she said. “They will try to cast you aside.”

Responding to the news, centrist Democratic Rep. Cecil Brockman said he understood why Cotham would switch parties.

“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,” he told The News & Observer in Raleigh.

In contrast, liberal state Rep. Robert Reives, the House Democratic leader, called on Cotham to resign, saying in a statement she “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,” Reives said, according to WRAL-TV. “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.”

Cotham’s switch comes on the heels of similar developments in another state. In Louisiana, state Rep. Francis Thompson announced last month he was switching parties and becoming a Republican, thereby handing the GOP a supermajority in that state.

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In addition, several high-profile Democrats have simply abandoned the party as it drifts further and further to the left.

Arizona U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a moderate Democrat who opposed the party’s leftist priorities, left the party last year and became an independent.

Former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, also announced last year she was leaving the party, saying it was “under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness.” She is now a Fox News contributor.

There has been speculation that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, another moderate Democrat who has long been a thorn in the side of the Biden administration, will either switch parties or become an independent.

The Democratic Party is drifting further and further to the left and embracing an agenda that only 10 years ago would have been widely seen as insane and dangerous.

Do you think more Democrats will switch to the GOP?

People who have long supported the party because of what it used to stand for — such as championing working-class Americans — are jumping ship as it embraces radical positions on a variety of issues.

The Democratic Party over the past few years has proved itself to be more interested in pushing woke ideology than in helping the American people.

It seems that many people, including its own lawmakers, are starting to realize that.

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Peter Partoll is a commentary writer for the Western Journal and a Research Assistant for the Catholic Herald. He earned his bachelor's degree at Hillsdale College and recently finished up his masters degree at Royal Holloway University of London. You can follow him on Twitter at @p_partoll.