Earlier this month, North Carolina Rep. Tricia Cotham made national headlines for ditching the Democrats, registering with the GOP, and giving the Republicans a majority large enough to override a veto from the liberal governor.
Plus, two more state-level Democrats have done the same… and they’ve also handed the GOP a veto-proof majority in a Democrat-led state.
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Louisiana Rep. Francis Thompson announced a party switch on March 17. By switching, Thompson expanded the Republicans’ ranks to a total of 70 members, a majority just large enough to override a veto from Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The Democrats’ woes don’t end there.
In the same state, Rep. Jeremy LaCombe has also de-registered from the Democrat Party, according to Louisiana newspaper The Advocate.
Now, Republicans occupy 71 of the chamber’s 105 seats. They share the House with 32 Democrats and two independents.
In the 21st century, the U.S. House has become known for frequent changes in party control. It’s changed hands three times since the 2010 elections. However, state legislatures tend to stay under the same party’s control for longer. The Louisiana House has enjoyed a Republican majority since January 2011, and so has North Carolina’s House.
In a statement, Thompson attributed his switch to the party’s internal changes, including the declining influence of the conservative Democrats.
“Let me clear—Nothing has changed,” Thompson said last month, according to Newsweek. “There are values and principles that I firmly hold onto that guide my decisions. My conservative voting record over my years in the Legislature speaks for itself.”
He concluded, “The push the past several years by Democratic leadership on both the national and state level to support certain issues does not align with those values and principles that are a part of my Christian life.”
On the other hand, LaCombe’s switch caught some observers by surprise. During the pandemic, LaCombe defended the governor’s shelter-in-place order when speaking to national reporters.
“We’ve got people dying, and this is going to cause mass confusion and chaos,” LaCombe said in 2020, referring to legislation intended to repeal the order. “For political points and grandstanding.”
LaCombe has remained mum about his reason for joining the GOP.
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Take a look —
This morning Rep. Francis Thompson is switching from Democrat to Republican giving the R’s a supermajority in the House #lalege #lagov pic.twitter.com/w4Hg1aMPat
— Shannon Heckt (@ShannonHeckt) March 17, 2023
Louisiana House Democrat Jeremy Lacombe has officially switched to the Republicans pic.twitter.com/5DS1jocLp7
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) April 11, 2023
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.