Former HUD chief Castro announces bid for president
Latino would be among youngest in Dems’ field
Julian Castro, a former Obama Cabinet member and San Antonio mayor, announced Saturday that he would run for president.
Onstage with his family, including his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, in his hometown of San Antonio, the Democrat declared his bid to try and take the White House from President Donald Trump in 2020 and fulfill a destiny Democrats have projected since he was elected San Antonio mayor at 34.
“When my grandmother got here almost a hundred years ago, I'm sure 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 told a crowd of supporters.
Castro, who spoke in both English
and Spanish, rolled out his campaign slogan: One Nation. One Destiny.
Castro’s announcement at the historic Plaza Guadalupe came one day after Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, 37, said she was running for president.
Castro, 44, and Gabbard are two of the youngest candidates in what is expected to be a large Democratic field. Castro may also be the most wellknown Latino figure in a race that’s likely to revolve around immigration policy. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, DMass., also has taken initial steps toward a presidential candidacy.
His first trip as a candidate is scheduled for Puerto Rico, where he will visit with residents still coping with the effects of Hurricane Maria. He told supporters his first act as president, if elected, would be to reverse a Trump administration decision and rejoin the Paris Climate Accord.
In his speech, Castro touched on many issues that are likely to guide the 2020 election season, including women’s reproductive rights, Medicare for all, Black Lives Matter, climate change and immigration policy.
“Today we’re falling backwards instead of moving forward. And the opportunities that made America, the America we love, those opportunities are reaching fewer and fewer people,” Castro told the crowd. “We’re going to make sure that the promise of America is available to everyone.”
Obama picked Castro to take over the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2014. Two years later, Castro was on the short list of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s potential running mates. He quickly became a star in the party, giving a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Republicans have moved quickly to criticize the Democratic candidates. Michael Ahrens, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, called Castro “a weak mayor who couldn’t even handle being HUD secretary. This is obviously just another desperate attempt to become someone else’s running mate.”
Julian Castro announces his candidacy Saturday in San Antonio.