Julian Castro announces run for President

Frederick Owens
January 13, 2019

Castro is poised to be one of the youngest candidates and the lone Latino competitor in the race.

He made the announcement Saturday at a rally in San Antonio, where he served as mayor.

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. He only barely registers in polls, and sometimes isn't included as an option at all. The committee held a hearing on "HUD Accountability".

Castro became the second Democrat to formally enter race, after former Maryland Rep. John Delaney. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sen. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to Congress, said this week she is planning a bid, too.

"In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay", Castro said.

"Today we're falling backwards instead of moving forward", he said. "The opportunities that made America the america that we love, those opportunities are reaching fewer and fewer people".

"When my grandmother got here nearly 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", Mr Castro said in a statement announcing his campaign. The Spanish-style plaza in the Castro twins' boyhood neighborhood was packed with supporters who streamed through the gates between a mariachi band. Castro attended public schools in San Antonio before going to Stanford University and then Harvard.

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Castro previously served as USA secretary of housing and urban development under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017.

Castro had harsh words for the president as the nation's government shutdown continues due to conflicts over building a wall along the southern border. Yeah, we have to have border security, but there is a smart and humane way to do it.

"There is no way in hell that caging babies is a smart or a right or good way to do it".

Whether or not it was timing to not get into either of those races, Castro feels he is the right person to take on President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. The next entrant will be competing with Beto O'Rourke for donations from his home state because Julian Castro is also from Texas.

But Castro told CNN that he believes he can perform well in Iowa and is backing that confidence up, according to a source with knowledge of Castro's operation, by naming Derek Eadon, the former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, to a senior role on his nascent campaign. Castro's first stop as a presidential candidate will be in Puerto Rico on Sunday.

"He's a failed leader on this issue, and now he's just trying to stoke his political base by bringing up the wall all the time", Castro said on "Face the Nation" Sunday.

The former HUD secretary, who campaigned for O'Rourke in 2018, told The Associated Press last month that he wasn't anxious if he is not testing very high right now in surveys.

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