By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
December 4, 2015
RALEIGH – Rep. Tricia Cotham (D-Mecklenburg) announced Thursday that she will not run for re-election in 2016.
Cotham (37), from Matthews, came to office in 2007, after being appointed to the seat to replace former House Speaker Jim Black.
Black was linked to various scandals, one of which involved giving money and making promises for a party-switching deal with Republican Michael Decker to maintain his power. Black admitted to taking money from chiropractors while their group had legislation pending in the state legislature. He was also connected to corrupt gambling interests and his underhanded dealings pertaining to the North Carolina lottery that had been established the previous year. Black was sentenced to five years and three months in prison with three years of probation to follow.
Cotham had been a middle and high school teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system where she had been recognized twice as “Teacher of the Year.” She had also served as an Assistant Principal at two of the state’s largest high schools.
After winning her election in 2008, she became the youngest woman ever elected to the North Carolina House. She won each election in her district after that with considerable support.
She married Jerry Meek, a business and tax attorney and former Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party.
She and her husband have two boys, Elliot and Ryan.
Cotham owns and operates Kids’ Klub, a childcare business located in the Blakeney shopping center in Charlotte.
In a statement regarding her decision not to run again, Cotham said she had “worked hard ‘to lean in’ in multiple public and private endeavors, and now, it’s time for me to ‘lean in’ more with my family and with my own life.”
Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said that Cotham was one of “the sweetest and most amiable persons you will ever meet, but I unapologetically deplore her politics.”
Dr. Creech described Cotham as “the darling of the progressives” on everything from education to social issues.
“I remember quite well during a Press Conference the disparaging way she spoke of those who opposed the School Violence Prevention Act, commonly known at that time as ‘the bullying bill,’ said Dr. Creech. “The bill was nothing more than a Trojan Horse for placing ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’ into state law. She advocated groups like the Christian Action League were advancing a political agenda at the expense of our state’s children – the deceit and hypocrisy of that statement were beyond the pale. It wasn’t us doing that, it was them, and they were using our state’s children to do it,” he said.
The School Violence Prevention Act, when taken up by the House in 2009, passed by only one vote, 58-57.
Cotham was a leading voice against North Carolina’s Constitutional Marriage Protection Amendment passed by more than 61 percent of the state’s electorate. During 2011 and 2012, she spoke out against the amendment at press conferences, rallies, and other forums, garnering the state’s premiere homosexual rights organization, Equality NC’s 2013 Legislative Leadership Award.
She was a zealous opponent of legislation that passed this year that extended the waiting period for a woman to have an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours. During debate on the House floor she argued the bill wasn’t about being certain a woman had as much time as possible to consider all of the alternatives to abortion, but only about “creating barriers.”
“Abortion is a deeply personal decision,” she quipped, ‘My womb and my uterus are not up for your political grab.”
“Such arguments show no concern for the fact that hundreds of thousands of women suffer severe emotional distress from later regretting their abortion, not to mention there is a living human being in the uterus whose life is taken by the abortionist’s knife,” said Dr. Creech.
“She is fully the blessed child of liberal indoctrination, and no one from the Democratic Party has better articulated its position. It is the best thing I can say about her as a policy-maker,” said Dr. Creech.
Cotham concluded her statement not to run again, saying:
“On my desk in the NC House Chamber, I have looked at a quote that reads, ‘I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end, good will triumph.’ I am an optimist and still believe this quote.”
Although from entirely different worldview, the Christian Action League believes the same and wishes Rep. Cotham well in the next stage of her life.