North Carolina GOP Rolls Out Red Carpet for Abortion Traitor to Run for Congress

With its proposed redistricting maps, the state party appears to be making Rep. Tricia Cotham (R) a shoe-in for the U.S. House—if she chooses to run.

North Carolina GOP Rolls Out Red Carpet for Abortion Traitor to Run for Congress
Screenshot:YouTube/Queen City News (Fair Use)

North Carolina state Rep. Tricia Cotham (R) has become infamous for running as a pro-choice Democrat who switched parties shortly into her term to hand the GOP a veto-proof supermajority in April, which it used to pass an abortion ban in May. (Yes, she voted for it.) Political analysts and her own voters wondered why she’d do this while representing a safely blue district. Now it appears that the state Republican party is protecting and rewarding Cotham by not only gerrymandering her seat to make it more Republican if she runs for re-election in 2024 but also by giving her an opportunity to run for Congress in a new, very red seat.

The North Carolina GOP unveiled its proposed election maps last week as part of the redistricting process, and the new, gerrymandered lines could help the party pick up three or four seats in Congress. (North Carolina has 14 seats in Congress, and they’re currently split with seven Democrats and seven Republicans. The new maps could lead to a GOP advantage of 10 to 4 or 11 to 3.) The Senate already voted to approve the districts, and the House was expected to pass the maps on Wednesday.

Regarding Cotham specifically, one proposed Congressional map puts the area she represents, suburban Mecklenburg County, into a new open seat (district 8) that’s so red that if it existed during the 2020 election, it would have been +18 points for Donald Trump. (Another proposal would put her in district 9, which would have been +15 for Trump.) Daily Kos elections writer Stephen Wolf wrote on Twitter that the party effectively “rolled out the (ahem) red carpet for her” to run for Congress. Candidates can file for the 2024 election starting in early December.

The party also redrew state districts, and Cotham’s House District 112 would swing wildly Republican. President Joe Biden won Cotham’s current district by 23 points, 61% to 38%, but the proposed map would reshape it so that it would have gone for Trump by two points, 50% to 48%. That’s a 25-point swing in the Republican direction. If she chose to stay in state politics, she’d have some protection, but it’s a riskier bet than the proposed Congressional seat.

Still, as the Charlotte News & Observer noted, these are both new seats that would “have no incumbent who would run against her.”

If you are new to Cotham’s nonsense, here is the brief backstory. During Cotham’s previous stint in the state house, she gave a passionate speech opposing a 2015 bill that would have created mandatory waiting periods for abortion seekers. In the speech, she revealed that she’d had a medically necessary abortion. In January of this year, Cotham co-sponsored a bill to codify Roe v. Wade into state law, but then she switched parties and voted twice to ban abortion after 12 weeks—first to pass it and again to override the Democratic governor’s veto. Cotham then tried to rewrite history by saying she was “still the same person,” and claiming she was never really that strong of an abortion supporter. She also tried to reframe her 2015 speech by saying she didn’t have an abortion and that it was merely a miscarriage.

The New York Times reported this summer that local Republicans urged her to run as a Democrat and, once she won, they planted the seeds for her to switch parties. Both Republican House Speaker Tim Moore and U.S. Representative Dan Bishop (R) told the Times they encouraged Cotham to join the GOP.

To recap, after Cotham switched parties, she’s now part of the Republican supermajority that gets to approve new voting maps that could ensure she either stays in power at the state level or gets elevated to the U.S. House of Representatives. Perfect system we have here.

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