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Democrat lawmaker leaving Democrats, becoming Republican

Republican and Democrat symbols (Unsplash)
September 22, 2023

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced on Friday that he is leaving the Democrat Party and becoming a Republican.

“Today I am changing my party affiliation,” Johnson wrote in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal on Friday. “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.”

Johnson said 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,” adding that American 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.”

“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 warned.

The mayor lamented the state of many cities in America, arguing 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 wrote.

“Too often, local tax dollars are spent on policies that exacerbate homelessness, coddle criminals and make it harder for ordinary people to make a living,” he continued. “And too many local Democrats insist on virtue signaling—proposing half-baked government programs that aim to solve every single societal ill—and on finding new ways to thumb their noses at Republicans at the state or federal level.”

“Enough,” Johnson wrote. “This makes for good headlines, but not for safer, stronger, more vibrant cities.”

Johnson reiterated his top goals for Dallas, including “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.”

“Still, with my change in party affiliation, I recognize that the number of Republican mayors leading the nation’s 10 largest cities has increased from zero to one. This is hardly a red wave,” Johnson concluded. “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.”