A Democrat lawmaker in North Carolina has officially switched parties and become a Republican — saying that Democrats are now so extreme that she does not even recognize the party she used to belong to anymore.
North Carolina state Rep. Tricia Cotham made the move official today — effectively giving House Republicans a veto-proof majority against Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper, who is an ardent abortion activist and will likely veto a bill to protect babies from abortions.
During a press conference Wednesday, Cotham officially announced her decision and slammed Democrats.
“The modern-day Democratic party has become unrecognizable to me, and to so many others around this state and this country. The party wants to villainize anyone who has free thought, free judgment, has solutions, who wants to get to work to better our state,” Cotham said.
“Not just sit in a meeting and have a workshop after a workshop, but really work with individuals to get things done. Because that’s what real public servants do. If you don’t do exactly what Democrats want you to do, they will try to bully you, they will try to cast you aside,” she added.
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“This announcement continues to reflect that the Democratic Party is too radical for North Carolina,” state GOP chair Michael Whatley said in a statement. “The values of the Republican Party align with voters, and the people of Mecklenburg County should be proud to have her representation in Raleigh.”
Responding to the news, another Democrat state lawmaker sympathized with Cotham, saying party leaders have become nasty toward lawmakers who do not vote constantly in lockstep with their agenda.
“I think she just wanted to do what’s best for her district and when you’re constantly talked about and trashed — especially the way that we have been over the past few weeks — I think this is what happens,” state Rep. Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford, told the Observer.
Brockman said party leaders have been criticizing himself, Cotham and another Democrat lawmaker because they were absent during a vote to override Cooper’s veto of gun rights legislation. He told the newspaper that he doesn’t blame her “one bit” for switching parties.
For the pro-life movement, the party switch could paid dividends.
Pro-life Republicans control the state Senate by a veto-proof majority, and Republicans are just one vote short of a supermajority in the state House. Gov. Roy Cooper is a pro-abortion Democrat who has prevented pro-life legislation from passing with his veto. Cotham voting with Republicans would give them the votes they need to override any Cooper veto of a bill to prohibit abortions.
Right now, North Carolina allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to 20 weeks. In 2020, there were 30,004 abortions reported in the state, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
If pro-life lawmakers succeed, North Carolina would join 14 other states that now protect unborn babies by prohibiting abortions. Others such as Ohio and South Carolina are fighting in court to enforce their pro-life laws, and still more, including Nebraska and Florida, are debating legislation this spring to protect unborn babies from abortion.
Many pro-life Democrats have left the party in recent years due to its growing extremism on abortion. Its platform now supports abortions without restriction and demands that taxpayers be forced to pay for them.
Others who have left recently include New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew, West Virginia House Del. Mick Bates, Louisiana state Rep. Francis Thompson, Texas state Rep. Ryan Guillen, Tennessee state Rep. John DeBerry, North Las Vegas, Nevada Mayor John Lee, Quincy, Massachusetts Mayor Thomas P. Koch, Buena Vista Township, New Jersey Committeeman John Williams, Louisiana state Rep. Elbert Guillary, a Philadelphia political activist and a pro-life leader.
Many voters also have been leaving and publicly voicing their frustration with the party.
Very few Americans share Democrat leaders’ views on abortion. Polls consistently show a strong majority of Americans support legal protections for unborn babies, especially after the first trimester or once their heartbeat is detectable, as well as bans on taxpayer funding for elective abortions, parental consent for minors and informed consent legislation.
A Marist College poll found 69 percent of Americans support limiting or banning abortions, up from 62 percent in June. Another new poll from UMass Amherst found a 5-percent drop in those who say Congress should pass a law to make abortions legal nation-wide and a 6-percent increase in support for a national abortion ban, WCVB News reports.