GOP quietly pick up three more state legislative supermajorities in Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Louisiana

April 8, 2023
Ben Marquis

There was much consternation for Republicans following the party's generally underwhelming performance in the 2022 midterms, but since then the GOP has quietly picked up three significantly impactful wins at the state level in the past two months.

Thanks to a special election victory and two partisan affiliation flips, Republicans have gained veto-proof supermajorities in the Wisconsin Senate, North Carolina House, and Louisiana House, granting the party a total of 25 legislative supermajorities nationwide, Breitbart reported.

Special election victory

The Associated Press reported this week that Wisconsin state Rep. Dan Knodl (R) defeated Milwaukee attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin (D) to win a special election on Tuesday to fill an open seat in the state Senate's 8th District.

That win gives Republicans 22 of the Senate's 33 seats and allows the GOP to override vetoes from Gov. Tony Evers (D) and win convictions in impeachment trials of any civil officers, including the governor and state Supreme Court justices, though the party remains two seats shy of a similar 66-seat supermajority in the Wisconsin Assembly.

"This campaign has always been about focusing on the issues, like rising prices, crime, and education, and I am incredibly grateful to the voters of the 8th Senate District for placing their trust in me to represent them in the Wisconsin State Senate," Knodl said Wednesday following his victory. "Whether you voted for me or my opponent, I intend to resolutely and faithfully represent all of my constituents."

Democrats want to "villainize" anyone who disagrees

At the same time that Wisconsin Republicans were celebrating that win, The Hill reported on Wednesday that North Carolina state Rep. Tricia Cotham (D), who represents a Democratic-leaning 112th District in the Charlotte suburbs, announced that she had switched her party affiliation to the Republicans out of disappointment and frustration with the state's Democratic Party.

That move, which grants the GOP veto-proof supermajorities in both the House and Senate, was met with a sharp rebuke and cries of "betrayal" and "deceit" from North Carolina Democrats, who also demanded that Cotham resign -- which really only seemed to prove the point that she made in announcing her partisan flip.

"The party wants to villainize anyone who has free thought, free judgment, has solutions and wants to get to work to better our state," Cotham said in a statement. "Not just sit in a meeting and have a workshop after a workshop, but really work with individuals to get things done."

The lawmaker added, "What happened to the concept of a big tent party? What happened to these ideas that we’re inclusive, we’re tolerant, we’re so welcoming to everybody. No, you’re not."

GOP "better represents" values and philosophy

Several weeks prior to all of that, the Monroe News-Star reported in mid-March that Louisiana state Rep. Francis Thompson, the longest-serving legislator in the state's history who was first elected in 1974 and served in the state's northeastern 19th District, announced that he had switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican.

The switch from Thompson was met with disappointment but not surprise from Louisiana Democrats, given that he had already tended to vote alongside Republicans on many issues, but the move now cements a GOP veto-proof supermajority in both the House and Senate.

"This is a happy day, but it's not a decision that was made in a day," Thompson said in an interview. "I've struggled with this and have been thinking about it for more than a year, when it has become clear that the Republican Party better represents my values and philosophy today."

"Let me be clear: Nothing has changed. There are values and principles that I firmly hold onto that guide my decisions," he added. "My choice to move to the Republican Party is one that best represents my views and those of the constituents who elected me to serve them."

Keeping the Democratic Party in check at the state level

"Democrats are joining Republican majorities to create supermajorities because they know that their constituents want strong conservative leadership to serve as a check on out-of-control Democrat governors who raise taxes, endanger communities with soft-on-crime policies, and strip parents of their right to have a say in their children’s education," Michael Joyce, communications director for the Republican State Leadership Committee, told Breitbart in a statement.

He added, "With 25 Republican supermajorities nationwide in state legislative chambers, it’s evident that the American people want principled conservatives to lead while Joe Biden and his Democrat cronies in the states drive our country off a cliff."

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