Julian Castro moves closer to 2020 presidential run with exploratory committee

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro on Wednesday launched a presidential explorator...

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 5:23 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 5:24 PM

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro on Wednesday launched a presidential exploratory committee, a significant step toward mounting a presidential bid in 2020.

Castro said he would make an announcement about his plans on January 12 in Texas.

2020 Presidential election

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Julian Castro

Political candidates

Political Figures - US

Politics

US Federal elections

US Presidential elections

Continents and regions

Joaquin Castro

North America

Southwestern United States

Texas

The Americas

United States

Beto O'Rourke

Castro's decision to form an exploratory committee, which is often seen as a formality before starting a presidential campaign and allows him to start raising money, gives him a jumpstart in what's expected to be a crowded Democratic field, which already consists of two declared candidates -- Rep. John Delaney of Maryland and Richard Ojeda, a former congressional candidate in West Virginia who lost his 2018 bid.

"As a kid growing up on the west side of San Antonio, I never thought that I'd one day be making this announcement," the former San Antonio mayor tweeted Wednesday. "I'm exploring a candidacy for President of the United States in 2020 to renew the promise of this country for all."

In a brief phone interview, Castro told CNN that he is "definitely leaning in one direction in terms of my candidacy for president," and felt now was the right time.

"I look forward to spending the next several weeks talking to folks around the country, raising money from supporters and getting things in place for January 12," he told CNN.

"I believe I can win the nomination," he added.

In the month ahead, Castro said he plans on traveling across the country to raise money as well as connect with voters in public appearances, though those plans are still taking shape.

Castro told Rolling Stone earlier this year that he is likely to launch a bid and has made early moves towards assembling a possible campaign. Last month, Castro and his twin brother Rep. Joaquin Castro held a meeting with possible donors to discuss the outlines of a potential presidential campaign. Since the midterm elections, he's engaged in conversations with prospective staffers, including operatives in Iowa.

Castro told CNN he has spoken with possible staffers for a presidential campaign but no hires have been made yet. He said his brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, would play a prominent role in any operation, saying his twin has been his "most trusted adviser and harshest critic as well, and he's going to play a big role."

If Castro runs, he would likely be one of the only Latinos running for president in 2020. Asked if his Latino background will hold a certain resonance in this campaign cycle, Castro said, "I'm going to run to represent everybody and at the same time I know that especially right now when the Latino community has been under siege from this administration, that there's a particular meaning to my candidacy."

Should he decide to run, Castro could find himself pitted against another Texas Democrat considering a presidential bid -- Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who fell short in his Senate bid against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz last month.

Two Democrats familiar with Castro's thinking tell CNN that the former HUD secretary's decision to make his intentions clear this month stems from the attention O'Rourke is getting for his 2020 aspirations and a desire to lock in top Texas donors.

Castro is eager to be the primary Texas Democrat in the 2020 field and believes making his plans clear from the get-go could put him a step ahead of the failed 2018 Senate candidate in staffing and fundraising.

"He is trying to step ahead and lock in donors," said one Democrat on O'Rourke's impact on Castro's decision. "He also needs a vehicle to fundraise and to be able to hire people."

Castro told CNN that he has his own timeline "regardless of what anybody else is doing."

"We may have 20 people running and I'm going to focus on my vision for the country's future and my own plans," he said.

Castro maintained an active presence on the campaign trail throughout the midterms, including campaigning with O'Rourke in Texas. Castro endorsed 89 candidates through his Opportunity First PAC, and his campaign travels took him to the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Castro, a father of two young children, says his entire family is supportive of a possible run but told CNN, "I think for all of us there's sacrifices of being able to spend time with my children," adding he looks forward to "if I run, my family being part of the experience and people getting to know Erica as well."

Castro said he's not intimidated by the potentially crowded Democratic field.

"I expect it to be a lively process with so many people but I think it's going to be good," he said. "It's going to be good for the Democratic party and for the country to see so many talented voices at the table and I believe we're going to walk out of this nomination process a more unified, stronger party."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46387

Reported Deaths: 2662
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11434680
Lake4985241
Elkhart313343
Allen2695117
St. Joseph185766
Cass16369
Hamilton1502100
Hendricks1371100
Johnson1244118
Porter69037
Tippecanoe6598
Madison64363
Clark62744
Bartholomew58044
Howard55057
LaPorte54125
Kosciusko5003
LaGrange4646
Jackson4583
Vanderburgh4576
Noble45128
Delaware42949
Boone42743
Hancock42535
Marshall4183
Shelby41825
Floyd37044
Morgan32331
Montgomery29020
Grant28726
Clinton2812
Monroe26328
Dubois2616
White25910
Decatur24732
Henry23615
Lawrence23624
Vigo2278
Harrison20822
Warrick20729
Dearborn20622
Greene18432
Miami1802
Jennings16911
Putnam1658
DeKalb1594
Scott1557
Daviess13916
Orange13323
Wayne1296
Franklin1248
Steuben1242
Perry1239
Ripley1148
Jasper1132
Carroll1092
Wabash1092
Fayette967
Newton9610
Whitley814
Randolph774
Starke773
Huntington702
Wells681
Jay670
Fulton661
Jefferson661
Washington651
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay594
Rush563
Benton480
Adams471
Gibson462
Owen451
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer331
Tipton301
Crawford290
Fountain292
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike80
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 52865

Reported Deaths: 2876
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin9338407
Cuyahoga7013366
Hamilton5224198
Marion273138
Lucas2628302
Pickaway217641
Summit1969206
Montgomery178426
Mahoning1752228
Butler144844
Columbiana120960
Stark1052112
Lorain96267
Trumbull86362
Warren75721
Clark7399
Belmont53421
Delaware51815
Tuscarawas51510
Fairfield50316
Medina49132
Lake44316
Miami44231
Ashtabula42144
Portage41858
Licking41611
Geauga39042
Wood38451
Clermont3566
Wayne35452
Richland3185
Allen29740
Mercer2728
Darke23625
Erie22922
Greene2229
Holmes2043
Madison1888
Huron1772
Crawford1357
Ottawa13023
Washington12720
Sandusky12213
Morrow1151
Putnam11516
Hardin11312
Ross1092
Auglaize993
Monroe8617
Coshocton811
Jefferson802
Union801
Hancock761
Hocking767
Muskingum731
Preble661
Lawrence650
Williams652
Clinton620
Guernsey603
Shelby594
Logan581
Wyandot584
Fulton570
Ashland551
Brown531
Carroll513
Defiance483
Fayette460
Highland431
Knox391
Champaign381
Athens371
Scioto360
Seneca332
Perry301
Henry290
Van Wert270
Paulding230
Vinton222
Adams211
Pike200
Jackson170
Gallia141
Harrison121
Meigs110
Noble110
Morgan90
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Scattered Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Angola
Few Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 89°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 91°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Hot & Humid Weekend
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events