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How The Republicans Flipped A Blue Charlotte Seat To Win Complete Control Of The State Legislature

Was It Long-Covid Brain Malfunction? Sex?

Tricia Cotham & unlikely lothario Tim Moore

Tricia Cotham comes from an influential Democratic political family and got her start in elective politics by being appointed to an open seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2007. The following year she both married the chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party and ran as an incumbent and won, first the primary and then the general— both times in landslides. In 2010, 2012 and 2014, she was re-elected with no opponents, neither in the primary nor the general. In 2016, she decided to forgo another legislative session and ran for Congress against Democratic incumbent Alma Adams. She came in a distant third with just 21.1% of the vote and less than half the votes Adams got.

After that humiliating experience— for a narcissist like Cotham— she did what many sleazy politicians do— she became a lobbyist and started a business with a GOP heavy hitter, C. Philip Byers… for charter schools.

Early in 2020, she caught COVID, and claims she got it twice more and that it turned into a kind of long-COVID. The disease rotted her brain. Two years after first falling ill with it she said she was in a lot of pain and that she was “mentally drained.” She went a month without being able to shower. She said that “COVID long haulers never end COVID. It stays on.” She’s on a ton of drugs. Is that what turned her into a Republican? Of course no one knows for sure. But it seems as plausible as the accusations that she was having an affair with Tim Moore, the GOP Speaker of the House, who had encouraged her to run in 2022— as a Democrat in a very blue east Charlotte/Mint Hill district the Republicans could never win— and then change parties after she was in the legislature.

Since the long-COVID, she’s been confused, hostile, paranoid, combative and vindictive. Yesterday, the NY Times ran a piece breaking the story about how Moore, Republican Majority Leader John Bell and MAGA psychopath Rep. Dan Bishop had persuaded her to run and flip the seat 3 months later. They also got big GOP donors to underwrite her campaign, the North Carolina Dental Society PAC— which gave almost exclusively to Republican candidates— and the North Carolina Health Care Facilities PAC, which gave mainly to Republicans.

She claims to have been angry that the Democrats didn’t support her against Adams and didn’t treat her like the superstar she was in her own confused mind. She was easy prey for the GOP desperate to come up with the one vote they needed for a super-majority to override vetoes by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, first on abortion and then on everything else she once held dear.

Kate Kelly and David Perlmutt reported that after she was elected to told her mother— a big time Democrat in the county— that “she was put off that Democrats treated her as a newcomer when she returned to the House” and later said “she was offended by what she regarded as bullying and groupthink inside the Democratic caucus, which was no longer the ‘big tent’ she had once known. She said the caucus focused too much on process over the hard work of governance.” She told a friend that “I’m either going to switch parties or resign.”

Four days later Cotham announced her decision to defect. “The party wants to villainize anyone who has free thought,” she said of the Democrats during a news conference.
She accused Democrats of spreading “vicious rumors” about her— perhaps alluding to chatter that she and Moore were romantically linked. Moore has denied the assertion; Cotham called it “insulting.”
…Three months after Cotham took office in January, she delivered a mortal shock to Democrats and to abortion rights supporters: She switched parties, and then cast a decisive vote on May 3 to override a veto by the state’s Democratic governor and enact a 12-week limit on most abortions— North Carolina’s most restrictive abortion policy in 50 years.
Overnight, Cotham became a heroine to Republicans and anti-abortion advocates across the country, even as Democrats vilified her as a traitor whose unexpected party flip had changed health care policy in a politically purple state of more than 10 million people.
…”Never in my life did I think that one person could have that kind of impact, that will affect the lives of thousands of people for years to come,” said Ann Newman, a Democratic activist in Cotham’s district. Newman recently asked for— and received— a refund of the $250 she had donated to Cotham’s 2022 campaign.
Her change of parties has left many of Cotham’s constituents feeling angry and betrayed, and has allowed Republicans to flex the power of their new supermajority well beyond the abortion issue, overturning a string of vetoes by the state’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, including six on June 27 alone.

Cotham is certainly not going to run and win in 2024, not for the seat she holds now although the Republicans can gerrymander the seat so that less of east Charlotte and more of red areas to the southwest are in the district. It would be illegal but the GOP now owns the Supreme Court so they could also give Cotham a new district that includes some of very red Union County. Anothrer possibility is that Cotham, now a GOP heroine, runs statewide, likely for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Or there is that congressional seat that Adams won last year. Adams beat Republican Tyler Lee 140,494 (62.7%) to 83,414 (37.3%). There’s been talk that the state legislature plans to gerrymander it— or Jeff Jackson’s neighboring district— and make a seat that Cotham could win.


1 comentario

Cotham may have brain rot, but I'd be willing to bet that her finances have done exceedingly well lately.

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