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A petition to recall Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson fails

By William Melhado, The Texas Tribune

A petition to recall Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson fails” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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An effort to recall Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson over his joining the Republican Party failed this week, the city secretary announced Wednesday.

Former Dallas City Council candidate Davante Peters launched a petition in early January calling for Johnson’s removal after the mayor announced he was leaving the Democratic Party to join the GOP.

In a letter to City Council members, Dallas City Secretary Bilierae Johnson said Peters failed to submit the petition by the Tuesday deadline, which rendered the effort unsuccessful.

It is not clear exactly how many signatures the petition garnered, though Peters would have needed over 103,000 Dallas voters to support the recall — or 15% of residents who voted in the last general municipal election. An online petition from the Dallas County Democratic Party calling for Johnson’s resignation earned just under 3,000 signatures as of Wednesday.

Johnson has served as Dallas’ mayor — a nonpartisan position — since 2019. When he announced in September that he was swapping political teams, it didn’t surprise Dallas political observers who said he had been leaning toward the GOP. But some of his former Democratic allies and voters felt spurned by Johnson’s about-face.

“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,” Kardal Coleman, chair of the Dallas County Democratic Party, said at the time of Johnson’s announcement.

Johnson previously served in the Texas House from 2010 to 2019 as a Democratic representative for Dallas.

Last May, Johnson ran unopposed for a second term as Dallas’ mayor. Dallas is the state’s third most populous city.

In a press release on Wednesday denouncing the failed effort, Johnson cast the recall as a partisan “nothing-burger” that was inflated by local media.

Peters, a local activist who runs a health food store in Dallas, told WFAA that he only gathered roughly 13,000 signatures but intends to resubmit another, more successful, recall petition.

When he launched the petition, Peters said the mayor’s absence at City Council meetings had made him doubt Johnson’s commitment to the position.

An analysis from KERA last year found that Johnson missed over 130 hours of council meetings since 2019 — more than any other current Dallas City Council member.


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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/06/dallas-mayor-eric-johnson-recall-petition-fails/.

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