Johnson’s switch makes him the only Republican front-runner in one of America’s 10 largest cities, Dallas being the ninth largest. According to census data. While the overall Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has grown in population in recent decades, the number of people living in the city of Dallas will decrease slightly between 2020 and 2022, according to Census estimates.
The mayor’s decision comes after raising some eyebrows in the state earlier this year Calling Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn for his inauguration. Both senators spoke fondly of the local leader.
“Texas is getting redder every day,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is switching to the Republican Party. He is pro-law enforcement and will not tolerate left-wing agendas.
The Dallas mayor’s office is a nonpartisan position, and he said in the column that he would continue to uphold his policy of not endorsing partisan politicians. Johnson also wrote about voting in the upcoming Republican primary.
Democrats across the state on Friday strongly condemned Johnson’s move.
“Given his longstanding ties to Republican leaders and ideologues — like his pairing with longtime podcast host Ted Cruz at this year’s inauguration — the announcement is neither surprising nor unwelcome,” the Texas Democrat said in a statement. “In a city that deserves dedicated leadership, Mayor Johnson has been an ineffective and disloyal mayor, not only disconnected from democratic values, but also unable to be an effective ambassador for conservative local policy.”
When Johnson changes teams, Dallas remains a deep blue city. Democrats hold every seat on the Dallas County Commissioners Court The district also voted 65-33 President Joe Biden should be sent to the White House over former President Donald Trump in 2020.
Republicans have generally failed to make meaningful gains in major American cities in recent years, and Johnson’s shift — especially as he endorses his new party’s approach — will be warmly welcomed by conservatives whose liberal leadership is failing its citizens. In urban politics from Los Angeles to New York City, a focus on public safety and crime has emerged as a major issue for political candidates in recent years.
“American cities need Republicans — Republicans need American cities,” Johnson wrote. “Unfortunately, many of our cities are in disarray. Mayors and other locally elected officials fail to prioritize public safety or exercise fiscal control. Most of these local leaders are proud Democrats who see cities as laboratories for liberalism, but havens for opportunity and free enterprise.