POLITICS & ELECTIONS

Dallas mayor switches parties to join GOP

Sep 23, 2023, 5:25 PM

(CNN) — Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced Friday that he is switching parties and will serve as a Republican-affiliated mayor of the blue-leaning city.

While the Dallas mayoral office is nonpartisan, Johnson previously served as a Democrat in the Texas legislature. He slammed his former party in an op-ed for Wall Street Journal published Friday, blaming Democratic policies for “exacerbated crime and homelessness.”

“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,” Johnson wrote. “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 added: “In other words, American cities need Republicans—and Republicans need American cities.”

Johnson’s announcement makes him the only Republican among the mayors of the 10 most populous cities in the US.

Johnson was reelected for a four-year term in May with over 98% of the vote after being first elected in 2019. President Joe Biden won Dallas County by more than 30 points in the 2020 election.

The Texas Democratic Party issued a scathing statement Friday, accusing Johnson of being dishonest with Dallas voters.

“[T]he voters of Dallas deserved to know where he stood before he ran for reelection as Mayor,” the chair and vice-chair of the party said. “He wasn’t honest with his constituents, and knew he would lose to a Democrat if he flipped before the election.”

“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,” they added.

On the other hand, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed Johnson’s new party affiliation.

“Texas is getting more Red every day,” Abbott said in a post on X, the platform previously known as Twitter. “He’s pro law enforcement & won’t tolerate leftist agendas.”

Correction language: This story has been updated to correctly reflect the percentage by which Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson won reelection.


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Dallas mayor switches parties to join GOP