Dallas mayor joins Republican Party, slams progressive policies that 'coddle criminals,' hurt the average American

Johnson noted that the number of Republican mayors of the nation’s 10 largest cities "has increased from zero to one."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced that a switch to the Republican party.

Johnson wrote that in the over four years he’s held the office, "my priority has been to make the city safer, stronger and more vibrant," which meant "saying no to those who wanted to defund the police," "fighting for lower taxes and a friendlier business climate," and "investing in family friendly infrastructure such as better parks and trails."

Johnson said that his approach is working, with Dallas becoming safer under his leadership and property taxes being reduced every year since he took office, with the latter accomplishment bringing in new small businesses as well as Fortune 500 companies.

"After these wins for the people of Dallas—and after securing 98.7% of the vote in my re-election campaign this year—I have no intention of changing my approach to my job," Johnson wrote.

"But today I am changing my party affiliation. 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," he added.

Johnson wrote that this move may "come as a surprise to many," with the mayor previously serving as a Democrat in the Texas House of Representatives.

He added that he had worked closely with his conservative colleagues in the House, adding that he "was never a favorite of the Democratic caucus, and the feeling was mutual."

"By the time I was elected mayor—a nonpartisan office—in 2019, I was relieved to be free from hyperpartisanship and ready to focus on solving problems."

Johnson wrote that 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," something that has been the "defining characteristic of the GOP," as opposed to "the inconsistent, poll-driven commitment of many Democrats."

"In other words, American cities need Republicans—and Republicans need American cities. When my political hero Theodore Roosevelt was born, only 20% of Americans lived in urban areas. By the time he was elected president, that share had doubled to 40%. Today, it stands at 80%. As America’s cities go, so goes America," he wrote.

Johnson said that many of America’s cities are "in disarray," with leaders failing to make public safety a priority and failing to exercise fiscal restraint.

He wrote that many tax dollars are spent on policies that "exacerbate homelessness, coddle criminals, and make it harder for ordinary people to make a living."

Johnson said in the coming years, he will continue to pursue a three-pronged goal for his city: "to become the safest major city in America with the best park system in Texas and the lowest taxes in our fast-growing North Texas region."

He said he will also keep his promise made in 2019 when he took office, "and refrain from endorsing candidates seeking partisan political office while I am mayor."

With his change in party, Johnson noted that the number of Republican mayors of the nation’s 10 largest cities "has increased from zero to one."

"This is hardly a red wave. But it 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. 

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