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Party switcher Tricia Cotham will run for reelection to the N.C. State House

Source: WRAL

State Representative Tricia Cotham, who in April gave Republicans a supermajority in the legislature by switching parties from Democrat to Republican, will run for reelection next fall in the newly redrawn House District 105 in southern Mecklenburg County.

Cotham announced her plans on X earlier this month, writing “After our prayers and talks, I’ve decided that I will seek re-election to keep representing Mecklenburg County and I look forward to meeting the voters of HD-105.”

Cotham served as a Democrat in the State House from 2009 to 2017, and was most recently elected as a Democrat to HD-112 in 2022, a district that voted 61-38 for Biden. After her party switch, a majority of her constituents found her move to be a betrayal to voters, according to a PPP poll conducted in her district.

Cotham’s party switch allowed legislative Republicans to override a series of Governor Cooper’s vetoes and enact a sweeping abortion ban with harsh new restrictions. Cotham voted for the bill despite years of vocal support for abortion rights, including a 2015 speech where she discussed her own abortion and decried Republicans taking away women’s rights. 

Other legislative moves enabled by Cotham include restrictions on LGBTQ rights, changes to election laws, a reduction on the powers of the governor, and more money funneled to private school families. 

Given the Democratic lean of her current district, it was doubtful that Cotham could run and win again as a Republican. But with Republicans in control of redistricting before the 2024 elections, they were able to create a winding new district that snakes throughout southern Mecklenburg County and picks up as many conservative voters as possible, in an area that’s otherwise trending leftward. Cotham’s new district now favors Republicans, 52% to 45%, according to previous election data. 

While the district leans Republican, it is still competitive, and Democrats are expected to make a strong push to unseat her. 

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