Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Julian Castro to announce 2020 presidential campaign decision

Julian Castro to announce 2020 presidential campaign decision

Texas Democrat Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor and top USA housing official, formally launched his White House bid on Saturday, entering as a dark horse candidate in a likely crowded field vying to challenge President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

"When my grandmother got here nearly 100 years ago, I'm sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later..."

Often called a rising star in the Democratic Party, Castro, who was Obama's secretary of housing, is expected to be part of a huge and diverse field of candidates eager to challenge President Donald Trump. He has always been viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party since he first landed on the national scene by delivering the keynote speech for President Barack Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

He spoke from a podium that featured his campaign logo - his first name, with an emphasis on its accent - and greeted supporters with mariachi music.

Former San Antonio Mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro waves as he arrives with his family to an event where he announced his decision to seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, January 12, 2019, in San Antonio. Two dozen others have signaled their intentions to do the same.

Castro and O'Rourke could join the likes of former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen.

He made his announcement at Plaza Guadalupe, a landmark in San Antonio's sprawling west side Mexican American barrio, a neighborhood of neat, brightly painted wood framed homes, many on tiny lots and festooned with white plaster Catholic statues. It's a testament that everybody counts in this country.

A lawyer by trade, Castro, 44, caught the eye of former President Barack Obama and others during his tenure as San Antonio mayor.

"If I decide to run, it would be because I believe I have a compelling message and I'm going to work hard and get to the voters and I believe I can be successful", Castro told the AP.

His twin brother, Joaquin Castro, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas.

Castro delivered the keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

The two were born into a politically active family. "And there is no way in hell that caging children is keeping us safe", Castro said.

Mr Castro is the second candidate to formally launch a campaign. "Well, I'm not the frontrunner", he said. Harris and O'Rourke are also seriously considering presidential runs. Even Castro's logo - which emphasizes the accent over the "a" in Julian - highlights the former mayor's heritage.

"I've resolved that before I die, I want to speak it fluently", said Castro, who has used the program Rosetta Stone to learn the language.

"I am just going to be myself", he said.

Castro said ahead of his run that he hopes to provide a "positive example" to young Latinos with his run but won't exclusively focus on courting voters in heavily Latino states and shirk visiting states like Iowa, New Hampshire and SC. "He was one of the most sought-after Latino surrogates in the country". If he had a disappointment, he said, it was that is grandmother, who died when he was younger, could not be there to see him.

Castro's dreams, he hopes, won't be deferred much longer.

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