Tricia Cotham Betrayed Us

North Carolina state Rep. Tricia Cotham announces she is switching affiliation to the Republican Party at a news conference Wednesday, April 5, 2023, at the North Carolina Republican Party headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. The change gives Republican state legislators a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers. (AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum)

By Karen Hovis

April 14, 2023

A resident of North Carolina House District 112 speaks out on Rep. Cotham’s flip from Democrat to Republican, a switch with major implications for abortion, education, and LGBTQ rights.

Tricia Cotham has betrayed the trust of her constituents in Mecklenburg County.  

Her decision to change party affiliation a mere 5 months after her election is entirely unacceptable. If she wants to change parties, that is her decision. However, she needs to fulfill her promise to the voters who put her in office by finishing this term as a Democrat.  

She ran as a Democrat.  We cast our ballots for a Democrat.  I cast my ballot for a Democrat.  

I voted for her because of her party affiliation and for where she said she stood on issues important to me like women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, protecting voting rights, and ensuring the ability of our public school system to teach our children.  

I care about abortion rights because as a woman I feel strongly that a woman should have the right to choose when to have children.  I was able to decide when I was ready for parenthood.  A woman should have the opportunity to receive life-saving care should her pregnancy cause potentially fatal consequences.  

I care about LGBTQ+ rights because my son is non-binary and I have many gay and lesbian friends and other family members.  

They are people who should have the right to marry, receive proper healthcare, and lead happy productive lives as members of an inclusive society.  

Ms. Cotham’s decision to be absent from the House floor has already allowed the House Republicans to vote to loosen restrictions on pistol permits, a dangerous and callous disregard for the safety of North Carolinians.  

What’s going to happen when Republicans put forth bills banning or criminalizing reproductive care, curbing the rights of the LGBT+ community, weakening voting rights and diminishing the ability of our public school systems to fully educate our children?  

She deleted her campaign website stating her opinions and ideals on the issues she was running on shortly after she announced her decision to cross the aisle.  

What are her positions on these issues now?  Could we believe her if she told us?  No, we could not.  

And how would Ms. Cotham even know what bills House Democrats planned to propose since she didn’t show up to House Democratic Caucus meetings?  

After she spoke on the floor about her abortion experience in 2014, she claimed some Republican House members called her a “baby killer” and even went so far as to swerve at her in a car.

Now she claims Democratic citizens and Democratic House members are harassing her.  So she switches parties?  

She must not really hold her ideals very strongly if people being mean to her makes her abandon those ideals.  

Her excuse that Democrats don’t like her doesn’t hold water because Republicans don’t like her either. The right-wing Art Pope-John Locke Foundation gave her an “F” rating for her liberal voting record.

Carolina Forward, a left-leaning advocacy organization, said on Twitter that two thirds of her $54,000 campaign funds came from Republican-aligned PACs.

While many political candidates, Democrats and Republicans, receive funding from Republican-backed PACs, this still draws into question where her loyalties lie and who she will be beholden to in the state House. Did she ever intend to work for the Democratic voters who put her into office?  

She needs to resign her seat immediately.  The people who cast their ballots for her deserve someone who will work for them.  Someone who will fight for the issues important to them.  We do not deserve a duplicitous person that we cannot trust.

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