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Re: Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson switches to Republican Party

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Artifical Intelligence Czar Kamala Harris

Nov 5, 2023, 11:40:03 PM11/5/23
In article <ui9hsk$71vk$>

> Biden and Harris both lower the IQ scale.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, a longtime Democrat, is now a Republican
— turning Dallas into the largest city in the country with a GOP

“Today I am changing my party affiliation,” Johnson wrote in an op-
ed published Friday in The Wall Street Journal. “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.”

Johnson served in the Texas Legislature for nine years as a Democrat
before he was elected as Dallas mayor in 2019. Though the mayor’s
position is technically nonpartisan, Johnson joins Fort Worth Mayor
Mattie Parker as one of two Republican mayors to lead a major Texas

Johnson did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Johnson’s switch came as little shock to Dallas political observers,
who said he has been signaling for some time his leaning toward the
GOP — and his distancing from Democrats.

"This is one of the worst kept secrets in the world of politics,"
said Vinny Minchillo, a Dallas-area Republican consultant. "This has
been coming down for a long time."

State Rep. John Bryant, a Dallas Democrat, took to the social media
platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to quip about Johnson's

“Switching parties? I didn’t know he was a Democrat,” Bryant wrote.

In his op-ed, Johnson made the case for how his vision for Dallas
aligns with the GOP, noting his support for law enforcement, low
property taxes and fostering a business-friendly environment.

Over the course of his mayoral tenure, Johnson has enthusiastically
backed anti-crime initiatives and developed a strong bond with
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia. He won reelection without
opposition in May after sewing up the city’s business donor class,
who often lean Republican, as well as the Dallas Police Association,
the city’s police union.

“Mayors and other local elected officials have failed to make public
safety a priority or to exercise fiscal restraint,” Johnson wrote in
the op-ed. “Most of these local leaders are proud Democrats who view
cities as laboratories for liberalism rather than as havens for
opportunity and free enterprise.”

After his reelection this year, Johnson invited Texas’ two
Republican U.S. senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, to attend his
inauguration — which some observers complained improperly injected
partisanship into a nonpartisan space.

Earlier this week, Johnson, along with four other Dallas council
members, voted against the city’s $4.8 billion budget because he
believed it did not sufficiently cut the city’s property tax rate.
Cutting property taxes is a darling issue for the state’s top

“Too often, local tax dollars are spent on policies that exacerbate
homelessness, coddle criminals and make it harder for ordinary
people to make a living,” Johnson wrote in the op-ed. “And too many
local Democrats insist on virtue signaling — proposing half-baked
government programs that aim to solve every single societal ill —
and on finding new ways to thumb their noses at Republicans at the
state or federal level. Enough. This makes for good headlines, but
not for safer, stronger, more vibrant cities.”

Johnson’s party switch immediately makes him one of the most
prominent Black Republicans in the country, a list that also
includes South Carolina senator and presidential candidate Tim Scott
and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Black voters still
vote overwhelmingly Democratic, though the GOP has made gains among
Black men in recent years.

Dallas is solidly Democratic, however. Dallas County went heavily
for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election,
with Biden carrying the county by more than 30 percentage points.
Some local politicians said Johnson's decision puts him out of step
with the city's voters.

“I don't believe that it sets the tone for where the priorities
are,” Dallas City Council Member Adam Bazaldua said. “In fact,
that's why I believe it would have been nice for voters to have the
opportunity of knowing that party affiliation prior to going to the
ballot box in May.”

Politicos interpreted Johnson's switch as a precursor to a potential
bid for statewide office — which Democrats have been locked out of
for decades.

"You've got to be a Democrat to win in Dallas," said Cal Jillson, a
political science professor at Southern Methodist University.
"You've got to be a Republican to win in Texas."

Johnson's party switch is a further indictment of the state of the
Democratic Party in Texas, said Minchillo, the GOP strategist.

"This is certainly a smart move for his career," Minchillo said. "If
you want to stay in Texas politics, you want to have the 'R' by your

Johnson didn’t mention his party switch as he spoke for about an
hour during a Texas Tribune panel event Friday morning in Austin.
Johnson noted the nonpartisan nature of his office and said he wants
to see a more conservative approach to how Dallas spends its money,
arguing that it's currently inefficient and the city could cut
plenty of welfare programs that he believes only a minuscule amount
of people use. Polling shows that most Dallasites want lower taxes,
he said.

“I don't even know what these services are that some people are
referring to that they're just so essential to poor people in the
city,” he said. “I don't know what they're using.”

Texas Republicans were quick to embrace Johnson as one of their own.

"Texas is getting more Red every day," Gov. Greg Abbott wrote on X.
"He’s pro law enforcement & won’t tolerate leftist agendas."

“To my friend and former colleague, welcome to the Republican
Party!” Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Beaumont Republican, said
on X. “Mayor [Johnson] is absolutely right. Conservative policies
are the key to safe, thriving, and successful cities. His leadership
is a shining example of that. Great news.”

The Texas Democratic Party's top officials, meanwhile, responded to
the news with pure venom.

"In a city that deserves dedicated leadership, Mayor Johnson has
been an ineffective and truant mayor, not only disconnected from
Democratic values, but unable to even be an effective messenger for
conservative local policy," Gilberto Hinojosa and Shay Wyrick
Cathey, Texas Democratic Party chair and vice-chair, wrote in a
joint statement. "This feeble excuse for democratic representation
will fit right in with Republicans — and we are grateful that he can
no longer tarnish the brand and values of the Texas Democratic

Democrats took Johnson’s announcement as a betrayal — though perhaps
not an unexpected one.

“It's really unfortunate to see Mayor Johnson switch parties but
also to turn his back on the electorate that's gotten him this far
in his political career,” said Kardal Coleman, chair of the Dallas
County Democratic Party. “This is no surprise to us. It’s the worst
kept secret in Texas politics, but he's choosing his personal
ambitions over the good of the whole of Texas.”

In an interview with Tribune co-founder Evan Smith on Friday,
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he was “disappointed that Eric
feels as though he has to leave a thriving ship to get on a sinking

“But sometimes people make decisions for various reasons. So I
respect his personal decision,” he said. “But I will tell you when
we look at San Antonio, and Austin and Houston, all across the state
of Texas, I think you will find that mayors and Democratic mayors
are doing an exceptional job across this country.”
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