Longtime Democrat Mayor Switches to GOP: Texas Is Even More Red

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, a longtime Democrat, announced on Friday that he is switching to the Republican Party. In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, Johnson wrote that the Democratic Party has become too extreme and that he is no longer aligned with its values.

Johnson, who served nine years as a Democrat in the Texas Legislature before being elected mayor in 2019, wrote that “American cities need Republicans — and Republicans need American cities.”

“I have no intention of changing my approach to my job. But today I am changing my party affiliation,” Johnson added. “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.”

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott celebrated Johnson’s decision to leave the Democratic Party and join the GOP.

“Texas is getting more Red every day. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson switches to Republican Party,” Abbott said. “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.”

“I don’t believe I can stay on the sidelines any longer,” Johnson wrote. “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.”

“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,” Johnson wrote.

“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,” the mayor added. “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.”