Keep Dallas Observer Free

State Rep. Eric Johnson Is Running for Dallas Mayor, Too

State Rep. Eric Johnson
State Rep. Eric Johnson
Brian Maschino

Turns out, former Texas state Rep. Jason Villalba wasn't the last person to squeeze himself into Dallas' large field of mayoral candidates. Tuesday morning, West Dallas state Rep. Eric Johnson surprisingly threw his own hat into the mayoral ring, bringing the number of candidates running for the city's most visible office to 10.

Johnson holds three Ivy League degrees and has long been viewed as a rising star in city and state politics. Most recently, he successfully sought the removal of a historically inaccurate, Confederacy-celebrating plaque from the Texas Capitol.

“I believe I offer the citizens of Dallas a unique combination of experience, energy and creativity when it comes to solving problems, along with a proven track record of working well with people from varying backgrounds in order to accomplish great things," Johnson said in announcing his candidacy. "I have represented one of the most diverse House districts in the state for nearly a decade, and I’ve shown that I can bring people together to get the job done for all of our families.”

Johnson's campaign treasurer, Cowboys Ring of Honor member and Pro Football Hall of Famer Mel Renfro, said Tuesday that the Greenhill School graduate has everything it takes to be a successful mayor.

“I’ve been around winners all my life, from winning football state championships in high school to winning two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, so I know a winner when I see one. Eric Johnson is a winner, and he’ll be a great mayor,” Renfro said.

During the 2017 legislative session, Johnson fought a tough and ultimately unsuccessful battle to protect residents of his district by using tax increment financing districts to ensure gentrification like the kind happening in Trinity Groves and the Design District benefits both those coming to the neighborhood and those already there. It's more exciting than it sounds.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Tuesday, he identified strengthening Dallas' neighborhoods as a priority for his mayoral campaign.

“Dallas is a great city, but we have some serious challenges ahead of us. We need to make sure that the Dallas of tomorrow is full of opportunity for everyone," Johnson said. "It’s time to move beyond the old divisions at City Hall and work together toward real solutions. If we do, Dallas will be a city of strong, safe neighborhoods where families thrive and where every child has the opportunities to succeed that I enjoyed growing up in this incredible city."

Johnson told the Observer he will not be stepping down from his current position to run for mayor.

“I will not be resigning to run for mayor,” he said. “I plan to work harder and be more effective down in Austin than I’ve ever been. I have an energy and passion for public service that is hard to put into words.”

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.