|Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives
from the 100th district
|Preceded by||James B. Black|
November 26, 1978 |
Charlotte, North Carolina
|Residence||Matthews, North Carolina|
|Alma mater||University of North Carolina at Charlotte (B.A.)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MPA)
Patricia (Tricia) Ann Cotham (born 1978) is a North Carolina K-12 educator and Democratic member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from the 100th House district (Mecklenburg County). In March 2007, she was appointed by Governor Mike Easley, upon the recommendation of local Democratic Party leaders, to replace state Representative James B. Black, who had resigned.
At 28 years old, Cotham became the youngest member of the 2007-2008 session of the state legislature and the youngest woman to ever serve in the NC House of Representatives. In her second term, Cotham was appointed to Co-Chair the House's K-12 Education subcommittee. Currently, she serves as Vice-Chair of the House Education Committee and as a member of the Education Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). She also represents North Carolina on the Southern Region Education Board, having been appointed by North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue.
Cotham is on leave as an Assistant Principal of Instruction in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System. Prior to this leadership role, she was a social studies and AVID Teacher, teaching both middle and high school. In 2002, Cotham was honored as the Charlotte Mecklenburg Most Outstanding Teacher. In 2003, she was honored as “Teacher of the Year” in Mint Hill, NC.
Cotham served as a Trustee to the North Carolina Teacher Academy. In 2008, she was honored as UNC Chapel Hill's School of Education Young Alumna of the Year. The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) also honored Cotham as an "A+" Legislator.
Cotham’s mother, Pat Cotham, is a member of the Democratic National Committee, having been elected in 2010.  Cotham's cousin, Emily Cain, also a Democrat, was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2004 at age 24 as its youngest female member. Cain is the Minority Leader for the Maine House Democrats.
- News & Observer: Black replacement will be youngest legislator[dead link]
- Charlotte Observer: Educator chosen to fill Black's old seat[dead link]