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Mayor Of Dallas Changes Party Affiliation To Republican

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


In a move that has surprised many on the political scene in one of Texas’ Democrat-stronghold cities, the mayor of Dallas announced in an Op-Ed published Friday that, though his office is one of a few non-partisan mayorships, he is leaving the Democratic Party and becoming a registered Republican.

Mayor Eric Johnson outlined his departure in the Op-Ed for The Wallstreet Journal under the title, “America’s Cities Need Republicans, and I’m Becoming One.”

Opening his Op-Ed with a  policy alignment that appears to skew more conservative than Democrat as he presents it, for example; “saying no to those who wanted to defund the police;” “fighting for lower taxes and a friendlier business climate,” etc., Johnson announced, “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.”

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He explained, “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.”

“But I don’t believe I can stay on the sidelines any longer. I have always tried to be honest and say what I think is right for my city. 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. 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.”

Johnson observed, “In other words, American cities need Republicans — and Republicans need American cities,” he added. “When my political hero Theodore Roosevelt was born, only 20% of Americans lived in urban areas. By the time he was elected president, that share had doubled to 40%. Today, it stands at 80%. As America’s cities go, so goes America.” Johnson’s sentiment is one that is growing particularly amongst Gen Z conservatives such as commentator and political analyst Dean Mosley called when he repudiated Republicans for giving up on cities, calling it “retreatism”, during an August 2023 speech.

Johnson continued, “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. Most of these local leaders are proud Democrats who view cities as laboratories for liberalism rather than as havens for opportunity and free enterprise.

Too often, local tax dollars are spent on policies that exacerbate homelessness, coddle criminals and make it harder for ordinary people to make a living. And 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. Enough. This makes for good headlines, but not for safer, stronger, more vibrant cities.”

While some commentators on X, formerly Twitter, cautioned against prominent Democrat leaders crossing over to become Republicans could dilute the party from a policy perspective, others such as Texas Governor Greg Abbott were optimistic and praised Johnson for his decision.

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Abbott posted to X, “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.”

In a statement issued by the Abbott campaign, he said, “I am proud to welcome Mayor Johnson to the Repbulican Party— the party of freedom, opportunity and economic prosperity.” He added,”I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Johnson as we build a brighter, more prosperous Texas of tomorrow.”

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