Mayor Eric Johnson confirmed in a recent interview that he decided to join the Republican Party largely because of the Democrats’ alleged anti-police leanings and the Dallas City Council’s recent approval of tax hikes on residents.
Johnson was interviewed by Mark Davis on the latter’s Thursday morning radio show. It was the mayor’s first appearance since he announced the party change last week. Addressing what prompted his decision to switch parties, Johnson said, “It’s been a long time in the making.”
He said the City Council’s recent approval of a $4.63 billion budget — the largest in Dallas history — and what amounts to a $120 million tax increase on property owners was “the final accelerant” that prompted him to leave the Democratic Party. His op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that announced the party switch was published two days after the City Council voted on the budget and property tax rate.
Johnson added that the “Defund the Police” movement was also a key factor in his decision.
“The ‘Defund the Police’ mess — that was the straw,” he explained. “The ‘Defund the Police’ era was shameful for Democrats.”
He said anti-police activists came to his house, protested in his yard, and scared his children in an effort to pressure him to support the “Defund the Police movement,” which he described as “so wrong and so dumb and so dangerous.”
Johnson said the experience taught him that “the Democratic Party is not for public safety.” He claimed the party supports neither “law and order” nor “more efficient government” — two things he said he is “all about.”
“The party wasn’t going to change,” Johnson said. “That became very clear after 13 years of doing this. … So I’m home now. I’m where I belong. I’m a Republican, and we’re going to run Dallas with the same conservative Republican principles, frankly, that I’ve been running the City with for the past four years.”
In the week since his announcement, the Dallas County Democratic Party has called on Mayor Johnson to resign, and a “Recall Mayor Johnson” campaign has sprouted up online, as reported by The Dallas Express.
But Johnson said he has no intention of resigning. Furthermore, he denied claims that he joined the Republican Party merely out of selfish political ambition and that he aims to run for higher political office when his mayoral term comes to an end.
Davis concluded the interview by asking Johnson who he supports in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
Johnson declined to endorse a candidate and said he is still “taking in information like everybody else.” He said he looks forward to an “interesting” race.