A movement to recall Mayor Eric Johnson has sprung up in Dallas as the local chapter of the Democratic Party publicly calls for him to resign.
This comes after Mayor Johnson announced last week that he is joining the Republican Party because cities like Dallas need policies that promote “law and order” and “fiscal conservatism,” as reported by The Dallas Express.
Since Johnson’s announcement last Friday, a “Recall Mayor Johnson” website has already been created to lead a recall effort against him.
“[W]e’re dedicated to restoring trust in local government by holding our Mayor accountable for his party switch,” the site reads. “We believe in transparency, accountability, and consistent representation, and we’re actively seeking volunteers to join our cause. Together, we can demand the accountability our city deserves.”
More information about the process of recalling a mayor or elected official can be found in Chapter V of the Dallas City Charter.
Furthermore, the Dallas County Democratic Party has launched a petition calling on Mayor Johnson to resign. The petition was launched on Tuesday and had more than 1,000 signatures as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
The party said Tuesday that Johnson “Knowingly portrayed himself as a lifelong Democratic voter and representative throughout his re-election campaign for mayor,” per NBC 5 DFW.
However, Johnson’s former Chief of Staff Tristan Hallman responded to this claim on social media, saying it is false. Furthermore, municipal offices in Dallas are explicitly nonpartisan.
“Dallas voters are frustrated, they feel deceived and feel they have been defrauded,” Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Kardal Coleman told The Dallas Morning News. “We’re creating a space for Dallas voters to be heard.”
While the party is leading efforts to demand Johnson’s resignation, Coleman said the party is not currently pursuing any recall efforts.
“Mayor Eric Johnson’s switch to the Republican Party is nothing short of an insult to Dallas voters,” the petition reads. “This switch is the launch of a selfish and cynical strategy to get his next job at the expense of his current job, the one Dallas voters elected him to do. He is putting politics, and his resume, ahead of the people.”
During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, unsuccessful mayoral candidate Jrmar Jefferson also called on Johnson to resign.
“You would have never been elected had you been honest,” Jefferson said.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Jefferson filed to run for mayor of Dallas but was disqualified by the City Secretary’s Office. Jefferson has claimed he fulfilled the necessary requirements to be on the ballot and was blocked from running because of corruption in City Hall.
Johnson has yet to respond to the claims made against him since announcing his party switch in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal last Friday.
In the op-ed, Johnson said Democratic policies have exacerbated crime and homelessness in cities across America.
“I don’t believe I can stay on the sidelines any longer,” he wrote. “I have always tried to be honest and say what I think is right for my city. 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.”
Johnson said cities like Dallas “desperately need the genuine commitment to these principles” rather than the “inconsistent, poll-driven commitment of many Democrats.”
“American cities need Republicans,” the mayor said. “[A]nd Republicans need American cities.”