Star Parker: Our New Black Republican Leaders

The perspectives and thoughts expressed in this op-ed are the exclusive purview of the author.

Recently I wrote about Mesha Mainor, who represents a deep blue district in Atlanta in the Georgia state legislature, announcing that she is switching parties and becoming a Republican.

Mainor specifically noted her frustration with the Democratic Party in its opposition to improving education through parental choice and ongoing Democratic weakness in building strong law enforcement.

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I cannot claim a new wave of Black Democrats like Mainor becoming Republicans. But there is certainly a trend.

We now have a meaningful new announcement from Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson that he is switching parties and becoming a Republican.

Johnson was elected mayor in Dallas in 2019 and recently won reelection, running unopposed and capturing 98.7% of the vote.

He is enormously popular because his leadership has been enormously successful.

In a column in The Wall Street Journal, in which Johnson discusses his party change, he ticks off the success he has had in reducing violent crime and in creating a business-friendly Dallas with tax cuts and a family-friendly environment through infrastructure.

In a recent Gallup poll, which Johnson cites, Dallas was rated by those polled as the safest city in the country in which to live or visit. Seventy-four percent rated Dallas safe.

It’s said that there are two kinds of people: those who want to be someone and those who want to do something.

Politics too often attracts the former. However, those who make a better world are those of the latter variety — those selflessly looking for truth and how to make things better.

Eric Johnson is clearly someone driven to make things better.

When he writes “American cities need Republicans — and Republicans need American cities,” it is not because he sees a more promising career path for himself in the Republican Party.

It’s because he truly believes that America’s cities need mayors “to champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism.”

If we want to see an example of the opposite of what Eric Johnson and Dallas’ citizens have achieved, look no further than Chicago.

Earlier this year, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who served from 2019 to 2022, became the first Chicago mayor in 40 years not to get reelected.

Over this period, serious crime in Chicago increased 33%.

Lightfoot’s rejection seemed like the lights were going on among Chicago voters that the progressive agenda is not going to solve their horrible crime problem.

Paul Vallas, a conservative Democrat running on law and order and strengthening police enforcement, finished first in the February mayor election, in which Lightfoot finished third.

However, with no candidate capturing a majority, the election moved to a runoff, and progressive Brandon Johnson, who finished 11 points behind Vallas in the first round, edged him out 52.2%-47.8% in the runoff.

Johnson brought in socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders and successfully peddled the same failed progressive message to Black and Hispanic voters in Chicago.

In the same Gallup poll in which Dallas was selected as the safest city in America, Chicago came in next to last, with only 27% saying that Chicago is safe.

For sure, Chicago voters bought more of the same and will get more of the same failures.

Last year, Whole Foods closed its store in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, and Walmart has closed four stores.

All because of crime.

What is Mayor Brandon Johnson’s solution? Government-run grocery stores.

“The city of Chicago is reimagining the role government can play in our lives by exploring a public option for grocery stores,” said a spokesperson for Chicago’s Economic Security Project.

For sure, this is an idea destined for failure.

Citizens of all ethnicities in Chicago deserve leadership that they will not get from their Black Democrat mayor that Dallas is getting from their Black Republican mayor.

Safe and prosperous communities.

Limited government, individual freedom, rule of law, and traditional family values.

Conservatism is the answer.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “Cure America with Star Parker.” Her recent book, “What Is the CURE for America?” is available now. To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


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