North Carolina State Rep. ‘Walks Away’ from Democratic Party Due to ‘Bullying’ Tactics
A North Carolina state legislator decided to “walk away” from the Democratic Party and change their affiliation to Republican and give them a veto-proof majority.
Tricia Cotham, R-Nc. decided to leave the Democratic Party after decrying ‘bullying’ tactics from leadership and said that the party ‘villanizes’ anyone who diverges from established orthodoxy.
She said that the party has diverged from values of inclusivity and tolerance after announcing her move to the Republican Party.
“What happened to the concept of a big tent party?” the Charlotte-area lawmaker told reporters. “What happened to these ideas that we’re inclusive, we’re tolerant, we’re so welcoming to everybody? No, you’re not.”
She further said that the Democratic party is too focused on ‘workshops’ and purity spiraling which prevents them from getting work done to better the state.
“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 went on. “Not just sit in a meeting and have a workshop after a workshop, but really work with individuals to get things done.”
Democrats will "villainize anyone who has free thought, free judgement, has solutions," says North Carolina State Rep Tricia Cotham after switching parties.
"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." pic.twitter.com/Jhnn1TxXjK
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 5, 2023
“Because that is what real public servants do,” she added. “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.”
Democrats quickly responded to her decision to change parties by expressing outrage and questioning the move.
The North Carolina House Democratic Leader, Robert Reives, said that Cotham’s values no longer align with the people she was elected to represent.
“Rep. Tricia Cotham campaigned as a Democrat and supporter of abortion rights, health care, public education, gun safety, and civil rights,” Reives said in a statement. “The voters of House District 112 elected her to serve as that person and overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.”
Reives said Cotham should resign to ensure her constituents are ‘fairly represented.’
Just got a news release from @NCHDLeader on Cotham's party switch: He's calling on her to resign
— Colin Campbell (@RaleighReporter) April 4, 2023
“The appropriate action is for her to resign so that her constituents are fairly represented in the North Carolina House of Representatives,” he said.
Democratic Party officials also reacted harshly to Cotham’s announcement. North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Anderson Clayton and Mecklenburg County Democratic Party Chair Jane White echoed demands for Cotham to step down, referring to her party switch as a “betrayal” and “deceit of the highest order.”
Rather than being worried about ‘deceit,’ it is likely that Democrats are angry about the decision as it gives House Republicans in North Carolina a veto-proof majority to pass legislation without the approval of Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.
The Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, Michael Whatley, said he was ‘thrilled’ about Cotham’s decision and said it indicated that Democrats have become ‘too radical’ for the state.
— Michael Whatley (@WhatleyNCGOP) April 5, 2023
“This announcement continues to reflect that the Democratic Party is too radical for North Carolina,” he said. “The values of the Republican Party align with voters, and the People of Mecklenburg County should be proud to have her representation in Raleigh.”
US Sen. Thom Tillis, R-Nc. also welcomed Cotham with open arms, saying she is a “no-nonsense legislator who works hard to make a positive difference for all North Carolinians.”
Other stories you may want to read: