The mayor of Dallas will become a Republican just months after he successfully ran for reelection as a Democrat, he wrote in an op-ed that likely caught his constituent off guard.
Eric Johnson, the city’s second-ever Black mayor, made the announcement Friday morning in the Wall Street Journal. He suggested he was switching to the Republican Party in part because of the “inconsistent, poll-driven” political environment he worked in as a Democrat.
He promised to be the same mayor Dallas has had since he was first elected in 2019 regardless of political affiliation. He also referenced his reelection in May that he won with nearly 99% of the vote and said he would still be “for the people of Dallas” no matter what.
“I have no intention of changing my approach to my job. But today I am changing my party affiliation,” Johnson wrote in the op-ed. “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 downplayed his political decision as being neither an indication of any “red wave,” nor a predictor that other partisan defections were on the horizon.
Johnson’s primary rationale in the op-ed for switching parties seemed to be that he believes that urban centers like Dallas need Republican mayors.
“American cities need Republicans—and Republicans need American cities,” Johnson, whose term ends in 2027, wrote.
The reaction on social media to Johnson’s announcement was seemingly split along partisan lines, with conservative-leaning accounts rejoicing and their more liberal counterparts claiming political disloyalty.
Podcaster Brian Tyler Cohen wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Johnson “betrayed voters” who just flocked to the polls to resoundingly reelect him.
On the flip side, self-described “patriot” Rogan O’Handley who runs the conservative-leaning DC DRAINO social media accounts, posted, “Welcome brother!”
With his announcement, Johnson – a former lawyer who served in the Texas state legislature for nearly a decade as a registered Democrat, now enjoys the distinction of being the latest high profile Black person to switch to Republican.
Notably, in Georgia, Vernon Jones, also a former state legislator, announced in 2020 that he, a Democrat, was endorsing Donald Trump in the election that year and switching to Republican.
“It’s very simple to me. President Trump’s handling of the economy, his support for historically Black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign,” Jones said at the time. “There are a lot of African Americans who clearly see and appreciate he’s doing something that’s never been done before,” Jones said.
Notably, Jones was among the loudest supporters of the so-called “Stop The Steal” rally that sparked the election fraud lies that have gotten Trump indicted four times in as many months this year.
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