Eric Johnson, the mayor of Dallas, Texas, announced in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal that he’s switching from the Democrat to Republican Party.
The title of the op-ed read: “America’s Cities Need Republicans, and I’m Becoming One.”
Johnson’s switch will make Dallas the largest American city with a Republican mayor.
Johnson wrote that he has fought for lower taxes, friendlier business climate, and family-friendly infrastructure during his time as mayor.
“That approach is working. Alone among America’s 10 most populous cities, Dallas has brought violent crime down in every major category, including murder, year-over-year for the past two years. In a recent Gallup poll asking Americans to rate the safety of major cities, Dallas came out on top. We have also reduced our property tax rate every year since I took office, signaling to investors that Dallas intends to remain the nation’s most pro-business city,” Johnson wrote.
“This philosophy has helped attract growing small businesses and several Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, the construction-engineering firm Aecom and the global commercial real-estate outfit CBRE.”
🚨 Dallas’ Democrat Mayor Eric Johnson has announced he’s becoming a Republican:
“America’s Cities Need Republicans, and I’m Becoming One: While Dallas has thrived, elsewhere Democratic policies have exacerbated crime and homelessness.” pic.twitter.com/02uBrCoZNW
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 22, 2023
Cont. from The Wall Street Journal:
After these wins for the people of Dallas—and after securing 98.7% of the vote in my re-election campaign this year—I have no intention of changing my approach to my job. But today I am changing my party affiliation. Next spring, I will be voting in the Republican primary. When my career in elected office ends in 2027 on the inauguration of my successor as mayor, I will leave office as a Republican.
I realize this will come as a surprise to many. During the decade I spent serving my hometown in the Texas House of Representatives, I was a Democrat in a Republican-controlled Legislature. I prided myself on finding common-sense solutions and worked closely with my conservative colleagues to improve policing, public education and water infrastructure. I was never a favorite of the Democratic caucus, and the feeling was mutual. By the time I was elected mayor—a nonpartisan office—in 2019, I was relieved to be free from hyperpartisanship and ready to focus on solving problems.
“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.
“In other words, American cities need Republicans—and Republicans need American cities,” he added.
The most Texas story you’ll read today
Days after AG Ken Paxton was acquitted, the recently re-elected Democrat Mayor of Dallas Eric Johnson announced he is switching to the Republican Party
“America’s cities need Republicans and I’m becoming one”
Welcome brother! pic.twitter.com/2xLaUlrkrH
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) September 22, 2023
The Texas Tribune reports:
Johnson served in the Texas Legislature for nine years as a Democrat before he was elected mayor in 2019. Though the mayor’s position is technically nonpartisan, Johnson joins Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker as one of two Republican mayors to lead a major Texas city.
Johnson’s switch came as little shock to Dallas political observers, including his colleagues on the Dallas City Council, who took the announcement as a clear sign that Johnson plans to seek some higher office as a Republican.
“Switching parties? I didn’t know he was a Democrat,” state Rep. John Bryant, a Dallas Democrat, wrote on X about Johnson.Advertisement
In his op-ed, Johnson made the case for how his vision for Dallas aligns with the GOP, noting his support for law enforcement, low property taxes and fostering a business-friendly environment.
Over the course of his mayoral tenure, Johnson has enthusiastically backed anti-crime initiatives and developed a strong bond with Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia. He won reelection without opposition in May after sewing up the city’s business donor class as well as the Dallas Police Association, the city’s police union.
“Mayors and other local elected officials have failed to make public safety a priority or to exercise fiscal restraint,” Johnson wrote in the op-ed. “Most of these local leaders are proud Democrats who view cities as laboratories for liberalism rather than as havens for opportunity and free enterprise.”