The mayor of Dallas, Texas, has now publicly announced that he is switching his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
Eric Johnson, who first became mayor of Dallas back in 2019, penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal entitled “America’s Cities Need Republicans, and I’m Becoming One.” The op-ed was published Friday morning.
Though the Dallas mayoral office is technically nonpartisan, Johnson is no stranger to partisan politics. Before he was elected mayor, he spent nine years representing a Dallas district in the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat.
But even then, he felt distanced from his party colleagues. “I was never a favorite of the Democratic caucus, and the feeling was mutual,” he wrote in the op-ed. When he became mayor, Johnson claimed he felt “relieved to be free from hyperpartisanship and ready to focus on solving problems.”
Yet that “hyperpartisanship” only seemed to grow in his subsequent years in office, he claimed, as too many Democrats, especially those at the local level, viewed “cities as laboratories for liberalism rather than as havens for opportunity and free enterprise.”
He also began to notice that many Democrats prefer “virtue signaling” to meaningful governance. They propose “half-baked government programs that aim to solve every single societal ill” but that too often “exacerbate homelessness, coddle criminals and make it harder for ordinary people to make a living,” he said.
In Johnson’s view, Democrats care more about scoring points against Republicans than serving their constituents, resulting in a tremendous loss in public safety and trust. For these reasons, Johnson said he will change his registered party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
“[W]ith my change in party affiliation, I recognize that the number of Republican mayors leading the nation’s 10 largest cities has increased from zero to one,” Johnson acknowledged. “This is hardly a red wave.”
While it seems that Johnson is becoming a Republican because of personal conviction, he also argued that doing so will benefit Dallas, the ninth largest city in the U.S., as well. “American cities need Republicans — and Republicans need American cities,” he insisted.
By that, he meant that with 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban leaders should make “law and order” and “fiscal conservatism” their top priorities — but they don’t. Instead, he said, many of them implement dangerous policies like defunding police, which then discourage businesses from planting roots and offering high-paying jobs to local residents.
“[I]t is clear that the nation and its cities have reached a time for choosing,” Johnson continued. “And the overwhelming majority of Americans who call our cities home deserve to have real choices — not ‘progressive’ echo chambers — at city hall.”
Among Dallas voters, Johnson appears to be wildly popular, earning a staggering 98.7% of the vote in his re-election race back in May. Dallas mayors may serve only two four-year terms, so he will leave the mayor’s office no later than 2027. According to his bio on the city website, Johnson, who turns 48 in a few weeks, is a married father of three. He also attends the Mountain View Church of Christ.
With this change of party affiliation, Johnson now becomes the second black elected official in the South to switch from Democrat to Republican in the last few months. Back in July, state Rep. Mesha Mainor, who represents a district of Atlanta, Georgia, announced that she would become a Republican because Democrats repeatedly “crucified” her for supporting school choice and refusing to defund the police, she said.
“I represent a blue district in the city of Atlanta so this wasn’t a political decision for me,” Mainor tweeted on July 11. “It was a a MORAL one. I will NEVER apologize for being a black woman with a mind of my own.”
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