North Carolina Democrat Lawmaker Switches to Republicans, Delivers Veto-Proof Majority

FILE - State Rep. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg, speaks on the House floor as North Carolina lawmakers gather for a special session on March 23, 2016, in Raleigh, N.C. Speculation is brewing in North Carolina that Cotham may change her party affiliation. Republicans have scheduled a news conference Wednesday, April 5, …
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File

North Carolina State Rep. Tricia Cotham (D), an EMILY’s List-endorsed lawmaker, has switched her party affiliation to Republican and delivered the GOP a veto-proof majority in the process.

Upcoming legislation on immigration, abortion, and voting will all now be directly impacted by Cotham’s move to the the House Republican caucus.

Cotham of Charlotte quietly joined the state’s GOP with a favorite on a tweet welcoming her to the party’s ranks the only public recognition, WRAL News reported.

The GOP has scheduled a Wednesday news conference at party headquarters featuring Cotham as RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel made her own observation of the switch.

“Even in a Biden district in a purple state, Democrats are reading the writing on the wall: liberal policies are too extreme and they’re failing Americans. Ahead of 2024, Republican momentum is growing and we are proud to welcome Tricia Cotham to the Republican Party,” McDaniel said.

House Speaker Tim Moore said Tuesday that Cotham and chamber leaders will “make a major announcement,” AP reports.

The move is already being flagged as a major political setback for Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and allies in their attempts to block conservative initiatives during the governor’s final two years in office.

It could make it easier for Republicans to enact bills that would force sheriffs to cooperate with federal immigration agents and prevent counting absentee ballots received after Election Day.

The GOP is also debating placing further restrictions on abortion, the AP report details.

While Republicans already hold the 30 Senate seats needed to override vetoes, they have been one seat shy of a similar advantage in the House since the November elections. That has now been nullified.

Cotham, a former teacher and assistant principal, served in the House for nearly 10 years through 2016 before returning in January.

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