OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Democrat Party just got hit with another shockwave as one of its top, young stars has switched to the Republican Party.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson wrote in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal that he is becoming a Republican because “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.”
“Next spring, I will be voting in the Republican primary,” he said in the piece that had the headline, “America’s cities need Republicans, and I’m becoming one.”
“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,” he said.
“In other words, American cities need Republicans — and Republicans need American cities,” the mayor said. “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.”
The mayor has been unabashed in his support for law enforcement, even penning an opinion piece for Fox News in February about the rising retirement rates of officers due to dwindling morale.
“When you have a mayor who supports the police not only in his words but his actions, you see what happens to crime in your city,” Austin Police Retired Officers Association Dennis Farris said to Fox News.
“Mayor Johnson has led from the front and it showed when he was re-elected without one single challenger — that’s unheard of in a major U.S. city,” he said.
But The Texas Democrat Party was furious with the mayor’s decision and issued a scathing press release.
“Given his long-standing affinity with Republican leaders and ideology — like when he cozied up with longtime podcast host Ted Cruz at his inauguration this year — this announcement is neither surprising nor unwelcome. But the voters of Dallas deserved to know where he stood before he ran for reelection as Mayor. He wasn’t honest with his constituents and knew he would lose to a Democrat if he flipped before the election. In a city that deserves dedicated leadership, Mayor Johnson has been an ineffective and truant mayor, not only disconnected from Democratic values, but unable to even be an effective messenger for conservative local policy. This feeble excuse for democratic representation will fit right in with Republicans — and we are grateful that he can no longer tarnish the brand and values of the Texas Democratic Party,” Gilberto Hinojosa and Shay Wyrick Cathey, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Texas Democratic Party, said.
“Today’s announcement by Mayor Eric Johnson is nothing short of an insult to the electorate. However, the people of Texas are not surprised. This switch is the launch of a self-centered agenda that puts politics over people. Mayor Johnson has turned his back on the very voters who trusted that he would uphold our hard-fought Democratic values. Just last week, the Texas Republican Party proved its standing as a party of corruption and crime by voting not to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton. That Johnson has the gall to join a party so blatantly opposed to the values of Dallas is an embarrassment not only to him, but to our community,” Kardal Coleman, the Dallas County Democratic Party Chair, said.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed the mayor to the Party in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“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,” he said.