Rep. Tricia Cotham must resign after betraying her constituents, joining NCGOP
The biggest news in North Carolina politics right now is the betrayal committed by now-former Democratic House Rep. Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County.
Cotham, who was elected by the voters of District 112 to the state House last November, ran on a platform of protecting abortion rights, gun reform, health care as a right and supporting LGBTQ+ rights.
As of Wednesday morning, she had changed her mind on all those supposedly long-held beliefs, announcing that she was joining the North Carolina Republican Party. The party in question is one that wants to restrict abortion, erode gun safety measures, target LGBTQ+ North Carolinians through discriminatory bills, and do the bare minimum for those who can’t afford health coverage.
Following her announcement, state Democrats, advocates, and her constituents have called on Cotham to resign, with Cameron Pruette, the chairperson of the LGBTQ+ Democrats of Mecklenburg County, stating that Cotham betrayed the community’s trust and questioned how long the switch had been in the works.
“It is ironic to me that in the middle of Holy Week, when we’re about to discuss Judas trading away people for pieces of silver, what did Tricia Cotham trade away for my community?” Pruette asked. “What did Tricia Cotham trade away for her voters? We deserve better, and if she can’t vote with our values, she must resign.”
Cotham was elected by her constituents with 59% of the vote in 2022, and she represents an area that voted for President Joe Biden by a more than 2-to-1 margin over Donald Trump in 2020.
North Carolina House Minority Leader Democrat Robert Reives released a statement Tuesday night that confirmed Axios Raleigh’s scoop about Cotham, saying that she is no longer the person her constituents voted for.
“Those constituents deserved to know what values were most important to their elected representative,” Reives said. “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.”
Gov. Roy Cooper also released a statement Tuesday night, calling Cotham’s decision “disappointing.” He also appeared to question her motive for the switch.
“Rep. Cotham’s votes on women’s reproductive freedom, election laws, LGBTQ rights and strong public schools will determine the direction of the state we love. It’s hard to believe she would abandon these long-held principles.”
Cotham’s decision has given Republicans a super majority in both chambers of the legislature.
Anderson Clayton, the NCDP’s new chairperson, spoke out forcefully against Cotham, stating, “Rep. Cotham’s decision to switch parties is a deceit of the highest order.”
“Tricia Cotham campaigned on protecting reproductive freedoms and is now seemingly open to new abortion restrictions. She campaigned on protecting LGBTQ rights, and today stood beside Congressman Dan Bishop, the father of HB 2 in our state,” Clayton said.
The voters of House District 112 elected Tricia Cotham based on her stated values as a Democrat and champion of abortion rights, gun reform and LGTBQ+ rights. She has betrayed them.
Cotham does not represent a swing district. She does not represent North Carolinians who are divided on the direction in which they want to see their state and country move.
Cotham has sold out not only her constituents in the Charlotte area but also North Carolinians around the state. She can no longer be trusted to fairly represent her district. She must resign immediately.