The mayor of Dallas leaves the Democratic Party: “America's cities need Republicans”

Eric Johnson, who was re-elected in May 2023, announced on Friday that he will end his term as a Republican.

Eric Johnson, mayor of Dallas, changed his affiliation to the Republican Party. He announced his decision in an opinion article that he published in The Wall Street Journal, where he stated that "American cities need Republicans."

This change makes Dallas the largest city in the country to have a Republican mayor, followed by Fort Worth (Texas), Oklahoma City, Fresno (California), Mesa (Arizona), Omaha (Nebraska) and Virginia Beach ( Virginia).

"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," Johnson wrote in the aforementioned article.

The mayor was first elected in 2019 as a nonpartisan candidate, defeating Scott Griggs with 55% of the vote. Four years later, no one ran against him for mayor, so he obtained another term without having to campaign.

Previously, he served as a state congressman for the Democratic Party but he stepped down when he decided to run for mayor.

"Mayors and other 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," he said in the letter.

Johnson invited Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX) to the inauguration of his second term in Dallas. Earlier this week, he voted against the city budget because he believed it did not reduce the property tax rate.

Among the reasons for switching parties, the now-Republican mentioned excessive taxes and the waste of taxpayers' money. "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 added.

"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. This makes for good headlines, but not for safer, stronger, more vibrant cities," he said.

Throughout his term, the mayor's agenda has been somewhat distant from what is promoted by the modern Democratic Party, especially in terms of security. He has supported anti-crime initiatives and helped make the city safer, which led him to develop a close bond with Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia.