(ConservativeInsider.org) – The Wall Street Journal recently published an op-ed from Dallas mayor Eric Johnson explaining why he’s leaving the Democratic Party and becoming a Republican. The headline read, “America’s Cities Need Republicans, and I’m Becoming One.” Johnson commented that our cities need budgetary conservatism paired appropriately with law and order. Technically the position is nonpartisan, but he previously served nine years in the Texas Legislature as a moderate Democrat.
Some critics claim that he is turning a nonpartisan position into a more politicized position by injecting labels and political parties where they are not necessary. Other critics claim that he is distancing himself from his constituents as the majority of his county voted for Biden in the most recent presidential election.
Johnson, a black man, has long been a vocal supporter of police, decrying the pledges to “defund the police” in the wake of the George Floyd riots that rocked his state and the country. He invited police officers leaving Austin, Texas and other cities that were cutting budgets to come to Dallas where he would appreciate their efforts and ensure the budget got boosted rather than cut.
Mayor Johnson worked hard to decrease crime in Dallas after he was elected in 2019. He ran unopposed in the most recent re-election, which is monumental for a city of the size of Dallas. He notes his success is paired with a strong police chief, a transparent budget, and ensuring community participation in his efforts to reduce crime.
His new self-identified label makes Johnson one of the most prominent black Republicans in the country and leaves some wondering if he has political aspirations beyond Dallas or Texas. Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, laments that you’ve got to be a Democrat to win Dallas and a Republican to win Texas. Johnson appears to understand this conundrum.
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