Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, TX and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama administration, is running for U.S. president in 2020.
Castro announced his bid at a rally in San Antonio on Saturday morning, becoming one of the highest-profile Latinx candidates to ever seek the Democratic nomination, per The New York Times. His first campaign appearance will be on Monday at the Latino Victory Fund’s annual summit in Puerto Rico, where he plans to speak with residents recovering from Hurricane Maria. He will also make a stop in New Hampshire later this week.
Castro is building on a firmly progressive platform. At his campaign launch, he called for a higher minimum wage, explicitly embraced the Black Lives Matter movement, presented his support for and intention to rejoin the Paris climate accords, and strongly emphasized education, proposing a national pre-kindergarten program similar to one he implemented in San Antonio during his tenure as mayor. He also denounced current immigration policies under the Trump administration, including family separation and the proposed border wall.
In his speech, Castro drew from his personal immigrant roots and his upbringing in San Antonio’s west side. Castro’s grandmother, Victoria Castro, immigrated from Mexico to Texas as a child, and his mother, Rosie Castro, is a prominent local activist, educator, and was the first Chicana to run for city council in San Antonio. His brother, Joaquín Castro, has served in Congress representing Texas’ 20th District since 2013. Joaquín Castro will also act as his brother’s campaign chairman.
"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 said at the campaign launch.
Castro, who formed an exploratory committee last month, is one of many candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard said on Friday that she will formally announce her candidacy in the next week, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has created an exploratory committee and set up a team to prepare a run, and Maryland Representative John Delaney has been actively campaigning for over a year. Other prominent Democrats, including New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, California Senator Kamala Harris, former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, and fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke, are reportedly considering presidential bids.