After months of speculation, Julián Castro officially announced he would be running for Ppesident in the 2020 election. Castro was the secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014-2017 under the Obama Administration and prior to that, he was mayor of his hometown of San Antonio from 2009-2014. At his campaign announcement, Castro said he would be running on a platform for better education, healthcare reform, and improvements to the immigration system.
For now, at least, Castro can enjoy the distinction of being the only Latino in the Democratic field.
Julian Castro formally announced he's making a 2020 presidential run at an event in San Antonio, Texas: "I’m running for president because it’s time for new leadership. Because it’s time for new energy." https://t.co/22oBwwibFG pic.twitter.com/mdPKgaZ82X
— ABC News (@ABC) January 12, 2019
The grandson of a Mexican immigrant and son of a Latina activist, Castro brings with him years of leadership and an agenda that has gotten the support from many in the Democratic party. While there have been previous Latino candidates that have run for president, Castro is one of the most high-profile and accomplished Latino Democrats ever to seek the party’s nomination.
“You give me your support, and I give you my word: I will spend every day working hard to make sure you can get a good job, find a decent place to live, have good health care when you get sick and that your children and grandchildren can reach their dreams, no matter who you are or where you come from,” Castro said at his campaign announcement.
Castro has embraced his underdog role in the Democratic race as he’s done most of his political career.
Julián Castro: "I see myself as the antidote to Trump. My story is an immigrant story. It's a testament to what immigrants have contributed to this country." https://t.co/eHhqD5Tqy2 pic.twitter.com/sjbNpZxjAZ
— The Hill (@thehill) January 13, 2019
At the age of 26, Castro became San Antonio’s youngest City Council member, and after a failed campaign for mayor in 2005, he was elected as mayor in 2009. Three years later, he spoke at the Democratic National Convention and would later be chosen by President Obama to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2014.
Castro has embraced his underdog role and has credited his upbringing in San Antonio that taught him a lot about perseverance. In an interview with the New York Times last month, he spoke about what it means to be doubted in the political world.
“In my whole life, I don’t think I’ve ever started out as the front-runner,” Casto told the New York Times. “I grew up in a neighborhood where nobody growing up there was the front-runner at anything. So I’m not going to concern myself with who people think of as the front-runner and who they don’t.”
Just days after his announcement bid, Castro visited Puerto Rico to address the still lingering effects of Hurricane Maria.
"I want all the people of Puerto Rico to know that you count, that we respect you," said @JulianCastro as he visits the island, the 1st stop after announcing 2020 candidacy, by @SuzGamboa https://t.co/rdS45QP7Fl pic.twitter.com/nHxGheESaS
— NBC Latino (@NBCLatino) January 14, 2019
Castro chose Puerto Rico as his first destination as a presidential candidate on Monday. He addressed concerns that President Trump is considering diverting funds for Puerto Rico’s recovery for the wall he wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Just the other day the president and his administration talked about taking money earmarked for Puerto Rico recovery and instead investing in [a border wall],” Castro said at the Latino Victory Fund (LVF) summit. “To do so is completely objectionable, immoral and should never happen.”
Castro has been very vocal against the Trump administration’s policies against immigration and environmental issues. He has vowed to make both issues some of the key items on his agenda if elected President.
Many on social media are excited to see Castro throw his hat in the race for President in 2020.
SO ARE WE JUST GONNA LOOK OVER AND IGNORE THE FACT THAT JULIAN CASTRO, A SAN ANTONIO NATIVE, A MEXICANO, AN EDUCATED LATINO ANNOUNCED HIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN!?!?! HELLO!?!
— Mᴀʀɪᴀʜ. (@MRHOLVRZ) January 13, 2019
Whether Castro gets the nomination or not, he is making many people proud just by announcing his presidential bid. It’s not everyday a Latino gets to say “I’m running for President of the United States.”
Castro is running a relatable campaign and people love his underdog mentality.
What I enjoyed most about @JulianCastro's announcement is him embracing that he isn't a frontrunner and that in this race he is the underdog, but he's always fought for the underdog and fought well. So many can relate and he presents himself as is, no gimmicks. I'm excited
— Franck D. Joseph II (@FranckDJoseph) January 13, 2019
While some see Castro’s bid as a long shot, it hasn’t stopped people from embracing him and his “no gimmicks” attitude. If Castro is to win the presidential bid, he would become the third-youngest person ever to become president. Whatever happens from now until the next summer’s primaries should be interesting for Castro but one thing is for sure. He has already guaranteed a Latino will be part of the presidential race in 2020.