The Democratic mayor of Dallas is becoming a Republican, saying the "future of America’s great urban centers" relies on mayors who "champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism."
"Today I am changing my party affiliation. Next spring, I will be voting in the Republican primary," Mayor Eric Johnson said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Friday. Though his position is nonpartisan, he said he's switching his party affiliation because Republican policies are what cities need.
"American cities need Republicans—and Republicans need American cities," said Johnson, who won more than 98 percent of the vote in his reelection this year.
He pointed to Democrat leaders as reasons for American cities' struggles.
"Unfortunately, many of our cities are in disarray. Mayors and other local elected officials have failed to make public safety a priority or to exercise fiscal restraint," Johnson said. "Most of these local leaders are proud Democrats who view cities as laboratories for liberalism rather than as havens for opportunity and free enterprise."
Johnson is just the latest Democrat to switch party affiliations. Another Texas Democrat announced late last month she was switching, a continuation of a trend of state and local officials joining the Grand Old Party this year.
Around four times as many Democratic state lawmakers have joined the Republican Party as the other way around in the past 20 years.