DALLAS – The mayor of one of the largest cities in the U.S. issued a stunning announcement in a Friday op-ed, saying he is leaving the Democratic Party and becoming a Republican.
The Wall Street Journal op-ed headline reads, “America’s Cities Need Republicans, and I’m Becoming One.” The author is Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. He goes on to explain that he is ditching the Democratic Party because “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.”
“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,” Johnson wrote.
“In other words, American cities need Republicans — and Republicans need American cities,” he continued. “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.”
Johnson has gone against the tide of most big cities in America, including the liberal city of Austin, which is the capitol of Texas, as he’s been a vocal supporter of police and their desire to maintain law and order.
The Dallas mayor has also bucked the destructive movement to defund his police department in the wake of the George Floyd riots.
During a recent interview with Fox News, he noted the importance of a plan to combat crime, which has been effective in his city, according to overall crime statistics compiled in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR).
The Dallas plan has three primary objectives: 1) Hot spot policing; 2) Focused deterrence; 3) Some non-law enforcement based strategies such as remediating the blight and improving lighting in high crime areas, among other programs.
In February, Johnson posted a Fox News Digital article on social media regarding police officers in Austin leaving in droves due to low morale resulting from defunding. He encouraged them to move north to Dallas and work there.
“If you work for Austin PD, are still interested in protecting and serving, and are considering retiring from the profession, don’t,” the mayor wrote. “Come work for the residents of @CityOfDallas by joining @DallasPD. We want and need you.”
If you work for Austin PD, are still interested in protecting and serving, and are considering retiring from the profession, don’t. Come work for the residents of @CityOfDallas by joining @DallasPD. We want and need you. #BigDallasEnergy 💯 https://t.co/hjCihYxyY7
— Mayor Eric L. Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) February 25, 2023
Dennis Farris, with the Austin Police Retired Officers Association, told Fox News Digital on Friday that Johnson supports police with not just his words, but his actions as well.
“When you have a mayor who supports the police not only in his words but his actions, you see what happens to crime in your city,” Farris said. “Mayor Johnson has led from the front and it showed when he was re-elected without one single challenger — that’s unheard of in a major U.S. city.”
Johnson has been mayor of Dallas since 2019. He previously served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Prior to politics he worked as an investment banker.