Things That Matter

Julian Castro May Not Be The Nominee In 2020 But Don’t Worry, The Candidate Has Many Other Options To Make A Difference

Julian Castro may have ended his bid for president in 2020, but that doesn’t mean the 45-year-old Democrat won’t be making waves in the near future. The former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and mayor of San Antonio, Texas could be the state’s prospective governor in 2022. Texas has been inching further to the left in recent years and Democrats like Beto O’Rourke, Castro, and community organizers have been building broader coalitions in the notoriously conservative state. 

Moreover, Castro could be the presidential nominee’s running mate. In 2016, Hillary Clinton audited Castro as her potential Vice President but instead chose Senator Tim Kaine a non-Latinx, Spanish-speaker citing Castro’s lack of experience. Shortly after dropping out of the race, Castro endorsed Elizabeth Warren for president. Could the pair be the winning duo the party needs to unseat the far-right Republican incumbent? Only time will tell. 

Some believe Castro would be tough competition for Texas governor.

Ryan J. Rusak of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram believes the end of Castro’s presidential campaign could signal a new beginning. While Castro didn’t make as big as a splash as say the billionaires who could invest tens of millions of dollars into their campaigns, he was able to set himself apart by being the first to center issues like immigration, reproductive rights for trans women and men, mass incarceration and police brutality as gun violence. Castro exited the race with a largely unscathed reputation and larger name recognition. 

Rusak believes a governor’s race between O’Rourke and Castro could further shift Texas left. A healthy rivalry could be good for Texas politics. 

“Watching them dance around each other will be fascinating. Castro seems stronger right now, but he doesn’t have O’Rourke’s statewide track record,” Rusak wrote. “Their rivalry, if one develops, could shape Texas Democratic politics for years. O’Rourke is concentrating on raising money to help Democrats win the Texas House, the kind of effort that could give him lots of favors to call in for a statewide race.” 

The former San Antonio mayor could end being the first Latinx Vice President. 

Castro, having previously been a part of Obama’s cabinet, might be sitting pretty in a different office should the Democratic presidential nominee win. 

“Castro will almost certainly be considered as a running mate by his party’s nominee or could end up in another Cabinet post,” Rusak wrote. 

Roughly four days after dropping out of the race, Castro endorsed Warren for President. Many believe this means he might be her running mate – although it could be wishful thinking. 

“Today I’m proud to endorse @ewarren for president. Elizabeth and I share a vision of America where everyone counts. An America where people⁠—not the wealthy or well-connected⁠—are put first. I’m proud to join her in the fight for big, structural change,” Castro wrote on Twitter. 

The New York Times found the endorsement unsurprising since the two candidates have been close allies throughout the campaign. The paper even offered that his endorsement could reinvigorate her campaign. Castro plans on traveling to New York City with Warren to give her a boost on the trail. 

“It formalizes a partnership that could help Ms. Warren reignite excitement at a critical moment. Ms. Warren has fallen from her polling peak in early October when she was hailed as the race’s ascendant front-runner and the standard-bearer for the party’s progressive wing,” according to the New York Times. 

However, Castro has previously said he didn’t want to be Vice President.

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host asked Castro if he had any interest in being Vice President if he isn’t the nominee. Castro’s answer may have some of his fans disappointed. 

“Is it possible you might want to be vice president if the president thing doesn’t work out?” Kimmel asked Castro. “No, no, I’ve been there and done that last time,” Castro responded.

Nevertheless, CNN notes that presidential candidates often evade questions about taking lesser positions while they’re running. Many may have forgotten that Joe Biden ran for president in 2008 but ended up accepting Obama’s invitation as VP.

“You know, I started my campaign off, and we lived true to the idea that we want an America where everyone counts,” Castro tells Warren in his endorsement video. “It’s the same vision that I see in you, in your campaign, in the America that you would help bring about.”

After becoming the front-runner over the summer, Warren appears to have dropped to third place behind centrist Vice President Joe Biden and progressive Senator Bernie Sanders.

“Thank you Julian Castro for being a powerful voice, for proposing bold and progressive plans, and for using your campaign to help people who need it now. You made this race stronger—and you will continue to be a leader in our party and our country for many years to come,” Warren said of Castro and she just might be right. 

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As Republicans Move To Fill Supreme Court Seat, Julián Castro Says Democrats Should Consider Nuclear Option

Things That Matter

As Republicans Move To Fill Supreme Court Seat, Julián Castro Says Democrats Should Consider Nuclear Option

Gabriela Bhaskar / Getty Images

With the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, progressives are struggling to figure out their next move. Republicans have made it clear they don’t care about precedent or even following their own made up rules, and plan to attempt to fill the vacancy as quickly as possible.

Some Republicans have even gone as far as saying they’ll vote to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee even if he loses the November election, in a lame duck session of Congress.

This has Democrats in overdrive trying to figure out their game plan and how they’ll respond to Republican efforts to once again steal a Supreme Court seat.

Julián Castro says that Democrats should consider packing the court if they come into power come January.

In an interview with Buzzfeed’s News O’Clock podcast, this year’s only Latino candidate for president said that Democrats should consider adding more justices to the Supreme Court if Senate Republicans rush to confirm a justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. His announcement is a reversal from his stated position during the presidential campaign.

“For many of us, that wasn’t our preference, but the fact is you have Mitch McConnell not abiding by, not working in good faith under the Constitution. … If you have that kind of abuse of the system, then I think that, yeah, Democrats should be open to different ways that we can stave off draconian changes to our fundamental rights,” he said.

During last year’s presidential primaries, Castro said that he “would not pack the court” if we were elected president, but with reproductive rights, voting rights, and healthcare hanging in the balance, he now believes Democrats should consider structural reform to the court.

“When those are the stakes, and Mitch McConnell is the one who’s abused this system, then yeah, I think we need to be open to considering either adding more justices or other structural reforms that will prevent this kind of abuse in the future,” he said.

Nothing in the Constitution limits the number of justices that sit on the Supreme Court.

Credit: Sam Gateaux / Getty Images

Adding more justices to the Supreme Court, or “packing the court”, has become widely popular among progressives as they see it as a last resort to restoring equality to the court. And the only way in writing wrongs committed by Republican Senate leadership.

Obviously, one concern is that if the Democrats increase the court size when they have power, that the Republicans could expand it again when they regain power. And we would have a never ending saga.

But as the Democrats are once again outplayed and outmaneuvered by the GOP, many say it’s a risk worth taking.

Castro also warned that Biden was losing his traction with Latino voters.

Meanwhile, Castro has also expressed concern that the Biden campaign isn’t doing enough to win the support of Latino voters.

“I believe the campaign gets it in that they understand they have work to do,” Castro said, adding that he thinks that Biden will pick up Latino support by Nov. 3 because the campaign is now investing in voter registration, bilingual messaging across platforms, and tailored outreach to different Latino communities, rather than treating them as one unified voting block.

“The Latino community too often is invisible, it’s an afterthought,” said Castro, who was housing secretary under Barack Obama. “Even though it’s going to be the largest non-white voting group in 2020. I think in every way in American society … there’s this image of the Latino community as though everybody got here five minutes ago.”

Joe Biden’s campaign has “to make sure that they are doing everything they can to reach out to a community that already has one of the lowest rates of voting, that needs to be brought into the fold”, Castro said.

With 29 million eligible voters in 2018, or about 12.8% of the total, Latinos voted more than two-to-one for Democrats, according to Pew Research. That was a much lower rate than for the party’s key bloc, African Americans, who went 90%-9% for Democrats.

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The Election Is Just Around The Corner: Here’s Everything You Need To Know To Make Sure Your Vote Counts

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The Election Is Just Around The Corner: Here’s Everything You Need To Know To Make Sure Your Vote Counts

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Let’s face it, the 2020 election is shaping up to be one of the most confusing, alarming, yet consequential elections in history. With just a few weeks out from the election, we find ourselves in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, historic unemployment, calls to defund the USPS and a nasty public relations battle which threatens to dismantle safe and secure ways to vote.

States are already working to change everything to accommodate the coronavirus, from stocking up on hand sanitizer to making arrangements to use NBA arenas as polling places. But the biggest difference is mail-in voting.

The president recently said he would reject emergency funding to the USPS because, “they need that money in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.” Despite voting by mail himself and encouraging his own campaign supporters to do so, President Trump is claiming mail-in voting will lead to fraud, which many critics claim is an attempt to suppress the vote.

Despite the fight over defunding the USPS, there’s still time to ensure the election goes smoothly. Here are the five things you can do now to make sure every vote is counted in 2020:

1st: Register To Vote

Step one is the same regardless of whether you want to vote in-person or whether you want to vote by mail. You need to get registered. You cannot vote in any way without being on the rolls.

Start by going to your local elections website. To find the correct website, you can head to Vote.org, a nonpartisan web clearinghouse for voting information. Just tell the website what state you’re in and what county you’re in, and it will send you information to get registered.

2nd: Request An Absentee Ballot Now

Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Despite Trump’s claims, there is no evidence that voting by mail leads to fraud. In reality, voting by mail is secure and safe. It also gives voters the opportunity to review their ballot in their own time and do research on candidates.

When voting by mail in many states, you have options for returning your ballot. You can drop it in the mail or bring it to your local election office before Election Day. In some states, voters have up to two weeks to drop their ballots off at their polling location or in a secure drop box in their county.

3rd: Have A Plan To Vote In-Person If You Can’t By Mail

Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Studies show that having a voting plan increases a person’s likelihood of voting by nearly 10 percent. Check out your state’s in-person early vote and Election Day voting hours and determine what you need to bring with you to the polls. Before you go, look up your polling place — remember, it may have changed since the last time you voted! Finally, make a plan for getting to the polls. Companies like Uber will be offering free rides to the polls on Election Day. If you can, make voting a family affair or invite a friend to meet you at the polls. Remember: you must be in line by the time the polls closed to be allowed to vote.

4th: Sign Up To Be A Poll Worker

The United States is facing a widespread shortage of poll workers this year due to COVID-19, which could result in closing polling places and long delays for voters. Especially if there are issues with the USPS, we will need more — not fewer — volunteers at the polling places making sure everyone can vote safely, fairly, and efficiently. And if saving democracy isn’t enough, most poll workers also get paid!

5th: Help A Friend

Once you’ve figured out this system, and especially if you’re in a place where lots of people historically haven’t voted by mail, think about helping a friend or offering assistance on social media. You could really be a resource to people who either don’t know what to do or are intimidated by it.

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