Only a few hours after N.C. Rep. Tricia Cotham (R-Mecklenburg) officially announced her departure from the Democratic party on Wednesday, the North Carolina Democratic Party held a press conference outside its headquarters where speakers urged Cotham to resign her office.
The change gives Republicans a supermajority in the North Carolina House of Representatives, which the party already held in the North Carolina Senate. With both, the state’s Republican representatives now have the ability to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.
The press conference was led by Anderson Clayton, the chairperson of the N.C. Democratic Party.
About 50 supporters stood behind the speakers’ podium, most holding posters that said, “RESIGN,” which were handed out inside the building before the event began.
“We are here to stand up for the people of House District 112 and the North Carolinians across the state who are fearful of what may come next,” Clayton said in her opening remarks. “Rep. Cotham’s decision to switch parties is a deceit of the highest order.”
Clayton said Cotham's switch is a problem because of how it affects issues — not politics. She added that voting rights, reproductive rights and public schools are on the line if Cotham does not resign.
It is also a problem of trust, Clayton said.
“This is about the constituents that trusted Rep. Cotham to champion their values, who are now left with little reassurance that she would do that,” she said. “It's a 60 percent Democratic district, y’all — they would not choose to elect a Republican.”
She also pointed out contradictions between how Cotham campaigned and where the representative is placing her support now.