It’s not a sure thing as of right now, but Julian Castro is starting to sound like a real contender to run for president in 2020.
Even though the 2018 midterms aren’t yet finished, 2020 has been on the mind of several Democrats as they ponder who they want to run against President Donald Trump. Castro, who rose to fame while speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention during former President Barack Obama’s re-election run, indicated he wants to have a serious discussion with his family before he makes an official decision on throwing his hat in the ring.
Castro, himself 44, and his wife Erica Lira Castro have two children, a daughter, age 9, and a son who is 3.
“We’re going to take a long, hard look at what that kind of commitment would mean,” Castro said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone about whether he’d run or not.
The former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, also wants to see what the political landscape looks like after this year’s midterm elections. He explained there’s no rush to figure things out quite yet.
“As I travel between now and Election Day, I’m getting a better and better sense of where the country is at. I don’t feel compelled to make a rushed decision,” Castro said.
At the same time, however, Castro got quite candid in his interview, suggesting that he’s more or less leaning into a run at this time.
“I’m likely to do it. I have a strong vision for the country. I believe that our country’s going in the wrong direction and that it needs new leadership. I’ll make a final decision after November, but I’m inclined to do it.”
Castro, who served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Obama, has certainly given many signs he’s pushing toward a run. He made several appearances this past weekend in Iowa, campaigning on behalf of Democratic candidates running for Congress, including J.D. Scholten in the 4th Congressional District and Cindy Axne in the 3rd Congressional District.
While speaking at an event promoting Scholten on Saturday, Castro made clear that he believes the country needs new leadership — and that the current president leaves more to be desired, in his view.
The past 18 months have been “absolutely crazy,” Castro said, and “does not reflect the values of our country.”
“We have the opportunity to make history and set the country in the right direction,” he added. “And all of that starts with y’all, and making sure people actually get out there and vote.”
Castro’s candidacy, if he does indeed run, would be historic if successful. If selected as the Democratic nominee, he’d be the first Latino candidate to head a major party’s ticket for president. Obviously, if he won the general election in 2020, that’d also mean he’d be the first Latino president in our nation’s history.
Castro sees people of color as a strength for Democrats in the future, noting that candidates of differing racial backgrounds running in campaigns across the country are the party’s “secret sauce,” according to reporting from NBC News.