Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson switches party affiliation, joins GOP

 September 24, 2023

Marking a significant shakeup in Texas politics, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced this week that he is changing his affiliation from Democrat to Republican, as the Associated Press reports.

By virtue of Johnson's decision, Dallas now holds the title of the largest American city helmed by a member of the GOP.

Major move

Having taken the reins in Dallas back in 2019, Johnson explained the reasons underlying his party change in a Friday op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal.

Johnson touted the need for big city leaders to dedicate themselves to “law and order” and to engage in the practice of “fiscal conservatism” in order for their communities to thrive.

The mayor elaborated by saying “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.”

Putting a succinct point on his motivation for the change, Johnson said, “In other words, American cities need Republicans – and Republicans need American cities...[a]s America's cities go, so goes America.”

Democrats decry decision

Not surprisingly, Democrats in the Lone Star State did not take kindly to Johnson's news, with Kardal Coleman, Dallas County Democratic Party chair declaring the move “nothing short of an insult to the electorate,” as Fox News noted.

Coleman continued, “Voters elected Mayor Johnson and were told that they were going to get a certain set of values, which he failed to deliver on. So now he's switching up his political party. This is not just strictly about partisanship. I think this is a self-centered agenda on his behalf, and he's choosing politics over people.”

Also weighing in were Gilberto Hinojosa and Shay Wyrick Cathey, leaders of the Texas Democratic Party, issuing a joint statement slamming Johnson and questioning his motives.

“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 unsurprising nor unwelcome,” adding that Johnson “wasn't honest with his constituents” when he stood for reelection in the last cycle.

Republicans cheer

Conservatives, on the other hand, were gleeful about Johnson's transition, as Fox News noted separately, with a number of high-profile Republicans welcoming him to the party with open arms.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott took to X (formerly Twitter) to boast, “Texas is getting more Red every day.”

Speaking of Johnson's attributes, Abbott added, “He's pro law enforcement & won't tolerate leftist agendas.”

Conservative thought leader Charlie Kirk said, “Welcome to Team Sanity Mayor Johnson,” and he praised the newly minted Republican by noting that “he has set the example by fighting to lower property taxes, resisted efforts to defund the police and make Dallas safer.”