Dallas Mayor Switches Parties

Eric Johnson goes from Democrat to Republican
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2023 2:40 PM CDT
Dallas Mayor Switches Parties
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson in a file photo.   (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

On Thursday, the 10 most populous cities in the US had Democratic mayors. On Friday, only nine do—and it is not because of an election, reports CNN. It's because Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican—a move he announced in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Johnson said he embraced "fiscal conservativism" along with "law and order," and he said those principles were better embodied by the GOP. "American cities need Republicans—and Republicans need American cities," wrote Johnson, who easily won reelection in May with 93% of the vote.

In Dallas, the move was received with little surprise, reports the Texas Tribune. Johnson, for example, has been pushing hard to cut property taxes. "Switching parties? I didn't know he was a Democrat," snarked Democratic State Rep. John Bryant on X, formerly Twitter. Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, says the move suggests Johnson has his eye on statewide office. "You've got to be a Democrat to win in Dallas," Jillson tells the Tribune. "You've got to be a Republican to win in Texas."

Two other reactions, from opposite camps: "Texas is getting more Red every day," a pleased Gov. Gregg Abbott tweeted. "He's pro law enforcement & won't tolerate leftist agendas," added the Republican. The state's top Democrats saw it differently. "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," wrote Gilberto Hinojosa and Shay Wyrick Cathey, Texas Democratic Party chair and vice-chair. (More Dallas stories.)

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