Former HUD secretary Julián Castro joins 2020 Democratic presidential field

By Jenna Johnson | The Washington Post

SAN ANTONIO — Julián Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio who worked in the Obama administration, announced Saturday morning that he is joining the increasingly crowded field of candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

Castro, 44, has pitched himself as “the antidote to Donald Trump” who understands the immigrant experience, border issues and the needs of the middle class. If elected, he would be the nation’s first Latino president.

“When my grandmother got here almost a hundred years ago, I’m sure that she never could have imagined that just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for President of the United States of America,” Castro said Saturday morning, standing in San Antonio’s historic Plaza Guadalupe.

Castro’s announcement was not exactly a surprise, as he launched an exploratory committee on Dec. 12 — and, the next night, his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, jokingly turned that exploration into a full commitment when the two appeared together on CBS’s “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”

As Colbert pressed Julián Castro on his 2020 plans, Joaquin Castro jumped in and said: “I’ll speak on his behalf here. He’s going to run for president. How about that? For the FEC lawyers: He didn’t say it! I said it.” (As soon as a candidate decides to run for president, the Federal Election Commission requires that he or she file paperwork and begin properly reporting the money that they collect and spend.)

Colbert then coyly said to Julián Castro: “I have heard from someone very close to you that you are going to run for president.”

Julián Castro laughed and said: “I’m excited. It’s going to be, I think, a great journey. As you know, I think the country needs new leadership, now more than ever.”

Castro grew up in an activist family in San Antonio, studied at Stanford University and Harvard Law School, and was elected to the San Antonio City Council when he was just 26. He ran for mayor of San Antonio twice, losing the first time in 2005 and then winning in 2009. Castro expanded prekindergarten programs in the city and opened Cafe College, where students can get help applying to college. As the youngest mayor of a top U.S. city, Castro quickly attracted national attention and built relationships with Democratic leaders and fellow Latino lawmakers across the country. During a visit to the White House in December 2009, President Barack Obama joked that he thought the young mayor “was an intern.”

Castro was the first Latino to give a keynote speech at a Democratic National Convention. In his July 2012 speech, Castro told the country about being raised by his single mother and grandmother, an immigrant from Mexico who dropped out of school in the fourth grade. He criticized the Republican promises of trickle-down economics and advocated for programs that help the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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