Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson cites crime policy disagreements as key reason for party switch
The mayor, now affiliated with the Republican Party, pointed out that Democrats often attribute violent crime to societal issues, educational system flaws, and economic conditions, factors he notes 'have always been present.'
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, having recently left the Democratic Party, criticized it fiercely for its inadequate response to violent crime and efforts to reduce police funding.
Johnson, known for his recent shift to the Republican Party, discussed his reasons for changing political affiliations during a segment on "Fox News Sunday" with Shannon Bream.
When questioned about whether crime policies influenced his decision, he expressed a desire to diverge from the approach of fellow Democrats who advocate for diverting funds from the police amid ongoing and escalating violence nationwide, the Daily Wire reports.
“What I’ve seen across the country, too often I think that Democrats primarily is what I’m talking about because that’s who controls most of the major cities in this country – 75 of the top 100 cities in the country are run by Democrats – the problem has become that Democrats were not willing, I think, to say that violent crime is a problem in their city and that it’s a problem that they could actually do something about,” Johnson said.
“In Dallas, I dug in pretty firmly against this whole idea of defunding the police and I said, ‘We’re gonna do things differently here,’ and we’ve had different results,” Johnson told Bream.
The mayor, now affiliated with the Republican Party, pointed out that Democrats often attribute violent crime to societal issues, educational system flaws, and economic conditions, factors he notes "have always been present."
Johnson contends that such justifications overlook the fact that the current surge in homicides and other violent crimes hasn't always been at this alarming level.
Johnson also dismissed remarks from a Democratic city council member asserting that Democratic leadership had transformed Dallas into one of the nation's safest large cities. The mayor responded that the council had "eventually" aligned with his perspective on policies to reduce crime.
“We were all Democrats at the time,” the mayor said, noting his recent party switch. “It was always a challenge and there were reasons why we had a lot of disagreements, there was a lot of coverage for a long time about a lot of the arguments and a lot of the debates that happened around Dallas City Hall around how we need to respond to requests to defund our police.”
The mayor acknowledged that the city council had indeed put forward amendments to decrease funding for the police department. However, he described these proposals as “largely symbolically,” lacking any substantial policy justification.
Johnson highlighted that the funds were earmarked for unrelated initiatives such as solar panels and environmental concerns, matters that, during a “crime spike,” “have nothing to do” with ensuring a city's safety.
In September, Johnson, who had been a Democrat for many years, changed his affiliation to the Republican Party, despite his office being officially nonpartisan. He wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, claiming that under his guidance, Dallas has "thrived." In contrast, he argued, Democratic strategies in other major cities have amplified issues like homelessness and crime.
“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 wrote. “Our cities desperately need the genuine commitment to these principles (as opposed to the inconsistent, poll-driven commitment of many Democrats) that has long been a defining characteristic of the GOP.”
He conveyed to Bream that the Democratic Party no longer aligns with his values on "law and order," citing the Left's strategies that, in his view, "embolden the criminal element" in urban areas. This stance includes advocating to "defund the police" and choosing not to prosecute specific offenses, actions that Johnson believes serve to "demoralize the police department."
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