Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced he was switching his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in a Friday op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal.
Johnson previously served in the Texas legislature as a Democrat from 2010 until he was elected mayor of Dallas in 2019.
“Today I am changing my party affiliation,” Johnson wrote in his op-ed titled “America’s Cities Need Republicans, and I’m Becoming One.”
“Next spring, I will be voting in the Republican primary,” Johnson wrote. “When my career in elected office ends in 2027 on the inauguration of my successor as mayor, I will leave office as a Republican.”
Woke is going broke across the nation – America is realizing that woke policies are terrible for business and life at large. https://t.co/uB96M6OVSn
— RedBalloon | Free to Work (@RedBalloonWork) September 22, 2023
“The future of America’s great urban centers depends on the willingness of the nation’s mayors to champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism,” Johnson wrote. “Our cities desperately need the genuine commitment to these principles (as opposed to the inconsistent, poll-driven commitment of many Democrats) that has long been a defining characteristic of the GOP.”
“In other words, American cities need Republicans—and Republicans need American cities,” he said.
Johnson said Theodore Roosevelt was his political hero and cited only 20% of Americans living in urban areas at the time of his presidency.
“By the time he was elected president, that share had doubled to 40%,” he wrote. “Today, it stands at 80%. As America’s cities go, so goes America.”
The Dallas mayor said many American cities were in disarray and claimed mayors and other local elected officials have failed to make public safety a priority or exercise fiscal restraint.
“Most of these local leaders are proud Democrats who view cities as laboratories for liberalism rather than as havens for opportunity and free enterprise,” Johnson wrote, suggesting local tax dollars were too often spent on policies that “exacerbate homelessness, coddle criminals” and make life difficult for average Americans.
“Too many local Democrats insist on virtue signaling—proposing half-baked government programs that aim to solve every single societal ill—and on finding new ways to thumb their noses at Republicans at the state or federal level,” he concluded. “Enough. This makes for good headlines, but not for safer, stronger, more vibrant cities.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to Johnson’s announcement by saying, “Texas is getting more Red every day.”
Abbott praised Johnson as “pro law enforcement” and added, “[he] won’t tolerate leftist agendas.”
Texas is getting more Red every day.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson switches to Republican Party.
He’s pro law enforcement & won’t tolerate leftist agendas.
Two of the 10 largest cities in America now have Republican Mayors & they are both in Texas. https://t.co/Qn9SM7UZ1G
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 22, 2023
“Two of the 10 largest cities in America now have Republican mayors and they are both in Texas,” Abbott added.