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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