Democratic candidate Julian Castro is officially running for president, CNN is reporting. Castro announced his presidential bid on Saturday, January 12 in his home town of San Antonio, where he once served as mayor. Castro is best known, however, for being secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration. Castro was also the one to deliver the keynote speech for Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. What really has the public buzzing is his stance on immigration, as Castro’s own grandmother immigrated from Mexico in 1922.
“When my grandmother got here almost a hundred years ago, I’m sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for President of the United States of America,” Castro said in his announcement.
Immigration is said to be a huge focus of his campaign, and he even included his culture in his announcement by getting a marachi band and taco trucks to attend the event. He’s also not afraid to potentially go head-to-head with Donald Trump in the race either, and blatantly denounced Trump in his speech.
“Donald Trump represents the opposite of what I am and what I believe,” he said. “For many Americans, a lot changed when Donald Trump got into office. And that is what has compelled me to think about running. We say no to building a wall and say yes to building community. We say no to scapegoating immigrants, and yes to Dreamers, yes to keeping families together, and yes to finally passing comprehensive immigration reform.”
It was no surprise that Castro wasn’t a fan of Trump. Castro was reportedly one of the top picks to run as Hillary Clinton’s vice president in the 2016 presidential election, but he was ultimately passed over in favor of Tim Kaine. It’s too early in the race for Castro to be thinking of his own potential VP, but we do know some of the people working on his campaign. One notable name is Joaquin Castro — Castro’s twin brother. He is not only a member of Congress but will now serve as his brother’s campaign chairman.
Maya Rupert, formerly the executive director of Castro’s PAC, will serve as campaign manager while Derek Eadon, the former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, will be Castro’s deputy campaign manager. Castro is already beginning to hit the campaign trail and will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a campaign event on Monday, before heading to New Hampshire on Tuesday.
The Republican National Committee disapproves of Castro, referring to him as “another delusional Democrat.” Time will tell if Castro proves them wrong.