On Friday, the North Carolina Democratic Party moved the location for a protest against Rep. Tricia Cotham, who recently decided to leave the Democratic Party, after receiving backlash for holding the demonstration within 2.5 miles of Cotham’s house.
The Sunday afternoon demonstration will now launch at the Mecklenburg Democratic Party headquarters, according to an email update from the Democratic Party. The new location is more than 20 minutes from Cotham’s residence.
Initially, given the proximity to Cotham’s residence, canvassers were very likely heading into Cotham’s neighborhood.
U.S. Reps. Jeff Jackson, NC-14, and Alma Adams, NC-12, both of whom are Democrats from Mecklenburg County, are attending the event.
Cotham has received death threats, threats of physical violence, and verbal abuse since announcing her departure from the Democratic Party.
This past week, Democratic activists from around the state have been putting up signs in Cotham’s neighborhood that read “TRICIA COTHAM RESIGN NOW.”
Cotham told reporters that activists from Democratic-aligned organizations texted her 12-year-old son. This was while she was still a Democrat.
“Interest and lobbyist groups that are aligned with the Democratic Party have directly sent messages to my 12-year-old son, and that needs to stop,” Cotham said. “And it’s not just been one time.”
Cotham has become all too familiar with the Democratic-wrath when you disagree with them on an issue.
“If you don’t do exactly what Democrats want you to do, they will try to bully you,” Cotham said. “They will try to cast you aside. I saw that when I first ran for office and was told, ‘Why didn’t you ask for permission?’ I didn’t think I needed to do that, and quite frankly, I was offended,”
Cotham said that as a female, this approach to handling disagreement especially disturbed her.
Earlier this year, Cotham gained a reputation as a moderate Democrat. She was one of a few Democrats who had been willing to work with Republicans on certain issues, including those related to public safety and school choice.
Cotham has voted in Democratic primaries since at least 2005. She was married to the Chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Her mom is a Mecklenburg Democratic county commissioner and a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Her dad was the chairman of the Mecklenburg Democrats.
Cotham’s switch led to Democrats having a super-minority in the state House. Functionally, this means that on a partisan basis, Democrats would likely need Republican assistance to uphold a gubernatorial veto from Gov. Roy Cooper.
Legislators were on spring break this week, but lawmakers will be back in Raleigh on Monday.