The longtime mayor of Texas’s third most populous city has publicly disavowed his own Democratic Party and announced his intention to become a Republican, saying the GOP’s policies are more in line with the needs of America’s urban residents.
Eric Johnson, Mayor of Dallas since 2019, opined in the Wall Street Journal that he intends to vote in the Republican primary next year and will be ending his time in office as a member of the GOP. Johnson will retire in 2027 and is not eligible to run again.
Elected on a pro-business platform, Johnson is virtually unopposed during his election for Mayor set for later this year, a rare opportunity that affords Johnson the opportunity to freely speak his mind in a state where Democrats are vastly outnumbered. During his time at the helm of Dallas’s city government, Johnson said he has heard from residents clamoring for fiscal discipline at City Hall and law and order in the streets.
“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,” wrote Johnson.
“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.”
Johnson may be making veiled references to the husks of cities like Portland and San Francisco where rampant crime and spiraling housing costs have seen wealthy residents fleeing to red states and vacant business fronts in their downtowns.
During a decade in the Texas Legislature, Johnson, then a Democrat, butted heads with party leadership who were pushing for a more combative stance against the business-friendly GOP leaders in the House. If Democrats don’t start readjusting their message toward entrepreneurs and Americans who need a helping hand instead of a handout, they could face disastrous consequences at the ballot box next year.
“[I]t is clear that the nation and its cities have reached a time for choosing. And the overwhelming majority of Americans who call our cities home deserve to have real choices—not “progressive” echo chambers—at city hall,” he concluded.