Obama protege Julian Castro joins 2020 presidential race

Obama protege Julian Castro joins 2020 presidential race

"I am a candidate for president of the United States", the 44-year-old Castro told a crowd in San Antonio's historic Guadalupe Plaza, during a speech that frequently invoked the immigrant heritage that brought his family to the USA from Mexico.

"In the years to come, we must go forward as one nation, working toward one destiny". Besides immigration, his platform so far highlights Medicare for all, universal access to a prekindergarten education and higher taxes for corporations and wealthier Americans to generate funds for domestic needs.

In an interview due to air on CNN on Saturday evening, she says: "There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve".

"As the former mayor of the fifth-largest city in the country and cabinet secretary, there is no doubt in my mind that Secretary Castro has the right temperament and experience to be president of the United States", Allred said.

Castro laid the groundwork for a 2020 presidential bid throughout 2018, visiting New Hampshire and publishing a memoir, "An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream", in October. He said there are serious issues to address in the country's immigration system and "there is no way in hell that caging babies is a smart or a good or a right way to do it".

In his convention speech Castro highlighted "an unlikely journey" that he has lived, including growing up with twin brother Joaquin, who is a United States congressman.

"I wish my grandmother could be with us to see it", he said. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who narrowly lost a Senate bid a year ago, is also weighing a run and has been on the rise in very early polls.

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"I'm going to go out there and make my case", said Castro.

With the election 22 months away, there are still plenty of candidates expected to announce their run, with two of the biggest names, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, expected to throw their hats into the ring.

Castro entered the political spotlight when he was elected San Antonio mayor in 2009.

"I have this heart for Julian. That's going to change", he said.

But Castro, who has repeatedly dismissed talk that an O'Rourke candidacy would complicate his own chances, has framed the neighborhood and his upbringing as the story of an underdog. "That said, his star is definitely not rising anymore, and the sun may be setting on the presidential ambitions of Julian Castro".

Castro also vowed to decline contributions from political action committees, taking a position that is likely to be a litmus test for a number of progressive supporters dismayed by the role of money in politics. The groups-including Presente.org, MoveOn, DailyKos, Rootstrikers and the Working Families Party-charged that Castro's record at HUD was disqualifying. The rumors only intensified when Obama nominated Castro to lead HUD in 2014.

Another Democrat, 37-year-old Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii - a lifelong surfer - announced Friday that she too will seek the party's presidential nomination. During Castro's trip this past week to Nevada, one state Latino business leader told Castro that he should again be a top contender for vice president if his campaign falls short.

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