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Julián Castro declares presidential run

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SAN ANTONIO — Julián Castro made it official Saturday: He’s operating for president.

The previous U.S. housing secretary and San Antonio mayor made the long-anticipated announcement at Plaza Guadalupe, close to the place he grew up on the town’s West Facet. It got here a month after Castro shaped an exploratory committee, a mere formality on his method to unveiling a 2020 bid that for months appeared possible.

“I am operating for president as a result of it is time for brand spanking new management, it is time for brand spanking new power and it’s time for a brand new dedication to guarantee that the alternatives that I had can be found to each American,” he stated.

Castro joins what is anticipated to be a crowded race for his social gathering’s nod to tackle President Donald Trump. It’s a race that might embrace a couple of Texan as former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso faces calls to run after his closer-than-expected loss final yr to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

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Whereas the Democratic discipline is anticipated to be giant, Castro is among the many first to formally enter the race. U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland has been operating since 2017, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts arrange an exploratory committee late final month and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii stated Friday she has determined to run and can make an announcement subsequent week.

Castro begins the race as an extended shot, barely registering in most polls. However he argued he’s used to going through an uphill battle as a son of San Antonio’s West Facet.

“There are not any frontrunners which might be born right here, however I all the time believed with huge goals and arduous work, something is feasible on this nation,” Castro stated.

Following his announcement, Castro was set to go to Puerto Rico — an unusual first cease after a presidential marketing campaign reveal. Castro will attend the Latino Victory Fund’s political summit there Monday and see restoration efforts for Hurricane Maria, the storm that devastated Puerto Rico in 2017 and to which the Trump administration’s response was roundly criticized. Subsequent week, Castro is scheduled to go to a extra conventional venue for White Home hopefuls: New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation major state.

Castro has lengthy been considered as a rising star in Democratic politics. He served as San Antonio mayor from 2009 to 2014, throughout which he vaulted onto the nationwide scene by delivering the keynote handle on the 2012 Democratic Nationwide Conference. He was the primary Latino to keynote the conference.

Castro left San Antonio in 2014 after then-President Barack Obama tapped him to be secretary of the U.S. Division of Housing and City Growth (HUD). Whereas Castro served within the cupboard, 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton thought-about him as a possible operating mate, a task that ended up going to U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

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Since leaving HUD on the finish of Obama’s presidency, Castro has delivered speeches throughout the nation and taught on the College of Texas at Austin whereas laying groundwork for a potential 2020 bid. He launched a management PAC referred to as Alternative First, traveled to early voting states to spice up midterm candidates and launched a memoir.

Castro has been among the many extra clear potential 2020 hopefuls, saying in November that he was “possible” to run. There was little thriller which means he was leaning when he introduced a month in the past that he was forming a presidential exploratory committee and scheduled the San Antonio occasion.

Castro continued to go to early voting states within the lead-up to Saturday’s announcement, making stops earlier this week in Iowa and Nevada.

The temper was festive within the lead-up to Castro’s announcement. A mariachi band supplied music, and marketing campaign merchandise was already obtainable on the market, bearing the slogan: “Julián Castro 2020. One Nation. One Future.” A line of individuals ready to get in snaked round three sides of the block. And Castro, joined by his twin brother, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, broadcast on Fb Dwell as he rode a bus to the venue, emphasizing the significance of the town’s West Facet to his life story.

Shortly earlier than Julián Castro’s announcement, the Texas GOP sought to border his candidacy as the newest exhibit in an more and more liberal Democratic Social gathering. On a convention name with reporters, the social gathering’s chairman, James Dickey, introduced up freshman U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the anti-establishment democratic socialist who lately floated a 70 p.c marginal tax price. It was an thought Castro has disregarded issues about, noting that the nation as soon as set that price at over 90 p.c.

“It appears like they’re working arduous to out-race Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the left,” Dickey stated. “Julián Castro’s a putting instance of that.”

Disclosure: The College of Texas at Austin has been a monetary supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan information group that’s funded partially by donations from members, foundations and company sponsors. Monetary supporters play no position within the Tribune’s journalism. Discover a full record of them right here.

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