The political landscape in North Carolina is set to change significantly as a Democratic lawmaker is reportedly expected to switch her party affiliation and become a Republican.
Tricia Cotham, a state representative from Charlotte, is set to announce her decision on Wednesday, according to sources cited by Axios. If Cotham follows through, the move will give the GOP a veto-proof majority in the legislature, which could have major implications for North Carolina.
The state has been a swing state in recent years, with Republicans holding majorities in both the House and Senate chambers, while Democratic Governor Roy Cooper has prevented them from implementing much of their agenda by using his veto power.
However, with Cotham’s switch, Republicans would have a clear path to push legislation without needing to compromise with Cooper.
It remains unclear why Cotham may be switching parties, but it is believed that recent events may have played a role. Cotham skipped a vote to override Cooper’s veto of a Republican-sponsored bill that eased gun laws, giving Republicans the votes needed to pass the bill into law.
Democrats criticized Cotham for her absence, and it is possible that this may have influenced her decision to switch parties.
The move is significant as it will give Republicans the power to pass legislation without needing to rely on Cooper’s veto power. This could lead to a wide range of legislation being passed, including education reform and restrictions on abortion.
The development is also likely to have implications for the 2022 midterm elections, with Republicans hoping to capitalize on their newfound power in the legislature.