The mayor of Dallas, Texas announced last week that he was changing his party affiliation to the GOP in what could have major implications for the party. Mayor Eric Johnson (R) said that he was switching from the Democratic Party, which he served under during his tenure in the Texas state legislature.
Johnson announced the decision in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal.
“Today I am changing my party affiliation. Next spring, I will be voting in the Republican primary,” he wrote.
Formally, the Dallas mayor’s office is nonpartisan, but the shift is a significant one. Many of the nation’s large cities are dominated by the Democratic Party, and by Democratic mayors and city councils. This is especially the case for cities that have faced a sharp increase in crime over the last three years.
“Unfortunately, many of our cities are in disarray. Mayors and other local elected officials have failed to make public safety a priority or to exercise fiscal restraint,” the mayor wrote. “Most of these local leaders are proud Democrats who view cities as laboratories for liberalism rather than as havens for opportunity and free enterprise.”
“American cities need Republicans—and Republicans need American cities,” Johnson said.
During his tenure, Johnson has promised to make Dallas into the safest city in the country and to expand its park system. He also aims for the city to have the lowest tax rate in northern Texas.
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
Johnson was reelected earlier this year with about 98% of the vote.
The change was welcomed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who wrote on social media that Johnson supports “law enforcement & won’t tolerate leftist agendas.”
“Two of the 10 largest cities in America now have Republican Mayors & they are both in Texas,” Abbott wrote.
Earlier this summer, another Black Democratic elected official announced that she was changing to the GOP. Georgia state Rep. Mesha Mainor (R) announced the change in July, arguing that Democrats have done little to help the Black community.