Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Campaign: Julián Castro To Make Saturday Announcement

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Jeannette Daniel | 13 January, 2019, 06:42

Texas Democrat Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor who went on to be the top United States housing official, formally announced his White House bid on Saturday, making him the first Hispanic in what looks to be a crowded field of candidates vying to challenge President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

His brother, Joaquin Castro, is a member of the US House of Representatives from Texas.

"I'm running for president because it's time for new leadership".

One of Castro's major problems is that he really doesn't have much of a resume compared to some of the heavier hitters we're expecting to get into the race over the next few months.

Though his term as HUD secretary ended in 2017 when President Obama left office, Castro's name surfaced as a potential vice-president running mate in 2016, and most recently as a Democratic candidate for governor in Texas to face incumbent Greg Abbott. Former Maryland Representative John Delaney also has formally entered the race.

"In this environment where Latinos in particular have been in the crosshairs, where we have a president who started his campaign on the first day attacking us, to have someone like Julián to step up for our community to defend us and to defeat this monster in the White House gives us great pride, or orgullo as we say in Spanish", said Cristóbal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Fund, which helps elect Hispanic politicians.

"Today we're falling backwards instead of moving forward", he said. There are about 700,000 young "Dreamers" who were brought into the US illegally as children; advocates want to provide them with protection deportation and a chance to apply for citizenship.

Castro would be the first identical twin elected president.

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"We have the best candidate with the best ideas and the best heart", Joaquin Castro said.

That group of hopefuls is starting to take shape even though the first primary elections are more than a year away.

Since announcing formation of an exploratory committee in December, Mr Castro has begun to stake out positions on policy debates that will dominate the nominating contests that kick off early next year. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The 44-year-old, who rose to national prominence with an electrifying keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic convention, seems set to become the second high-profile Democrat to announce their candidacy for 2020 following MA senator Elizabeth Warren's campaign launch at the end of last year. On top of that, keep in mind that Castro was a Hillary endorser in the 2016 race.

The groups-including Presente.org, MoveOn, DailyKos, Rootstrikers and the Working Families Party-charged that Castro's record at HUD was disqualifying. He returned home and served as a member of the San Antonio City Council and, from 2009 until 2014, the mayor of the city.

Two years later, Mr Obama picked him to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Castro was raised primarily by his grandmother - who he called Mamo - and Rosie Castro, his Chicana political activist mother, eventually excelling enough to attend Stanford University and, eventually, Harvard Law School.

Like other Democrats running, Castro has said he will not accept money from political action committees tied to corporations and unions, and he has sought to introduce himself to voters as a champion for universal health care and affordable housing.

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