A North Carolina State Representative has switched from Democrat to Republican after being persistently attacked by her own party.
State Rep. Tricia Cotham’s switch has given the GOP a veto-proof majority against Democrat Governor Roy Cooper.
At a press conference about her decision, Rep. Cotham said that the Democratic Party no longer accepts differing views.
“The party wants to villainize anyone who has free thought, free judgement, has solutions and wants to get to work to better our state,” Rep. Cotham said during a press conference on Wednesday. “Not just sit in a meeting and have a workshop after a workshop, but really work with individuals to get things done. Because that is what real public servants do, 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.”
“I am still the same person, and I am going to do what I believe is right and follow my conscience,” Cotham continued.
Speaking to Fox News, Rep. Cotham cited criticism of the American flag and Second Amendment decals on her car, members of the party calling her an “ammosexual,” and personal attacks over her Christian faith as reasons for abandoning the party.
“I noticed some pretty big changes in the Democratic Party right when I got here, and it was very disturbing,” she told the network. “I’ve used Jesus several times when I’ve led our chamber in House prayer – I was told you can never trust a Dem who wears camo and just this week [was] called an ammosexual.”
The representative’s Democrat colleagues are outraged by the move, arguing that she should resign as she had campaigned as a progressive. Rep. Cotham does not appear to have any desire to do that. She won Mecklenburg County by 20 points in November.
“I think this will start a trend throughout our country because people have had enough,” Cotham said.
“You know, it takes a lot to this. I’m a doer. I’m a risk-taker. I do what I think is right, even if I am the only one doing it. That is who I am and what I believe,” she continued.
House Democratic leader Robert Reives issued a statement saying that the representative “campaigned as a Democrat and supporter of abortion rights, health care, public education, gun safety, and civil rights.”
“The voters of House District 112 elected her to serve as that person and overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates up and down the ballot,” Reives continued. “That 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.”
The North Carolina GOP sent out an announcement welcoming her to the party.
“We are thrilled to have Rep. Cotham join the Republican Party to advance solutions for North Carolina families,” said NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley. “This announcement continues to reflect that the Democratic Party is too radical for North Carolina. The values of the Republican Party align with voters, and the People of Mecklenburg County should be proud to have her representation in Raleigh.”