North Carolina Dem Rep. Switches Party, Giving GOP Supermajority in Legislature

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, April 5, North Carolina Democratic state Rep. Tricia Cotham confirmed reports that she is joining the Republican Party, giving the GOP a veto-proof supermajority in the state House. With Republicans already possessing a supermajority in the state Senate, the party will now be able to override vetoes from Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and potentially enact their preferred election laws. GOP legislators have already introduced legislation changing the deadline to return mail-in ballots and limiting early voting.

Cotham’s decision to change parties was sharply criticized by other state Democrats. Cooper called the decision “disappointing” while party chair Anderson Clayton called on Cotham to resign, describing Cotham’s party switch as a “betrayal to the people” of her district. 

Cotham, who represents a heavily Democratic district in Charlotte, ran in 2022 on a platform of raising the minimum wage, championing LGBTQ rights and expanding access to Medicaid and voting. Prior to winning election in 2022, Cotham previously served as a Democrat in the state House from 2007 to 2017.