Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Julián Castro Announces 2020 Presidential Run

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Ellis Copeland | 13 January, 2019, 21:55

"I am a candidate for president of the United States", the 44-year-old Castro told a large crowd in San Antonio's historic Guadalupe Plaza, in a speech that frequently invoked his immigrant heritage. "That's why we are here today". "And it's time for a new commitment to make sure that the opportunities I've had are available for every American".

He is the only declared Latino candidate in the Democratic field. He has also visited Iowa and Nevada - two of the earliest primary and caucus states - in addition to publishing a memoir a year ago, a common first move for future presidential candidates.

Castro was raised by a local Latina activist.

Castro is leaning on his life story - from the grandson of a Mexican immigrant to Harvard Law School and beyond - to sell an optimistic take on the need to keep the American Dream alive for all.

"He was not someone who came in as a rabble-rouser to shake thing up. Due to their hard work, I have the opportunity to stand here today".

Castro was San Antonio's mayor for five year and US housing secretary in President Barack Obama's second term.

He added that his grandmother Victoria would surely have been amazed when she arrived from Mexico in 1922 - she went on to work as a maid and a cook - had she known that one grandchild would end up in Congress and the other as a presidential candidate. And the cruel policies of this administration are doing real and lasting harm, " he said.

Asking for an America that is the "smartest, healthiest and fairest" nation on Earth, Castro touted his support for universal health care; pre-kindergarten for all, based on a program he sponsored as mayor of San Antonio; affordable higher education, justice and immigration reform, and more attention on combating climate change.

Castro would be the first identical twin elected president.

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Castro had harsh words for the president as the nation's government shutdown continues due to conflicts over building a wall along the southern border.

He argued for securing the border in a "smart and humane way".

"We have the best candidate with the best ideas and the best heart", Joaquin Castro said.

Castro had already indicated his intentions to run, making a trip to Iowa in August ahead of the midterm elections, releasing a memoir in October and launching an exploratory committee in December, which gave him the legal ability to begin raising campaign money.

Perhaps more disturbing for Castro are the Lone Star rumblings that former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, now the most popular Democrat in Texas, is seriously considering a campaign for president.

Urging his supporters to look around the blue-collar neighborhood where he grew up, Castro said, "there are no frontrunners that are born here, but. with big dreams and hard work, anything is possible in this country".

Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens dismissed Castro's campaign as "obviously just another desperate attempt to become someone else's running mate".

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who has been in the midst of a book tour, also is expected to launch a presidential bid soon.

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