North Carolina Democratic legislator announces she is switching to Republican Party

If Tricia Cotham confirms her decision this Wednesday, the GOP will have a sufficient majority to overturn any Democratic Party veto.

North Carolina Democratic Rep. Tricia Cotham announced her desire to switch parties and join the Republican ranks. She is expected to make this announcement on Wednesday, April 5 at GOP headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. Cotham, who represents Mecklenburg County's 112th District, won her seat with 59% of the vote to against Republican Tony Long. Anderson Clayton, chairwoman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, said Cotham has betrayed the people who voted for her and should resign. "She no longer represents the values constituents trusted her to champion and should resign immediately," Clayton said, noting that there are "repercussions not only for her district, but the entire state of North Carolina."

If Cotham follows through with this decision, it will grant a supermajority to Republicans who need only one seat to achieve it. Although Republicans have enjoyed a majority in both the state House and Senate in this state, they have barely been able to implement their policy agenda because of the continuous vetoes imposed by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper. Cotham could pave the way for Republicans to pass measures such as education reform or abortion restrictions.

It is not entirely clear what reasons led Cotham to make this decision, although several local media outlets point to the possibility that she recently skipped a Republican-sponsored vote to make the state's gun law less restrictive. She abstained, and the Republicans voted the bill into law.