In the city where he was mayor for five years, Julián Castro announced at a rally in San Antonio on Saturday, his plans to run as a Democratic candidate during the 2020 presidential election.
Castro said he wants to lead the, “healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation on earth.”
He is a Mexican-American who served as former Obama Housing and Urban Development secretary, and his campaign said he will not accept any corporate money. The announcement was made across the street from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where he was baptized as a child, and where he baptized his children.
Walking on stage as the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” played, Castro started with, “Good morning. Buenos Dias,” and then thanked his mother.
He talked about his family and their roots in America, his grandmother as a single mom raising his mother who grew up to become an activist.
“This is a community built by immigrants. Families from Mexico, but also families from Germany and other countries. It’s also a country built by Native Americans,” he said. “Today, this community represents America’s future. Diverse, fast-growing, optimistic… and I’m proud to call myself a son of San Antonio.”
“But the thing is right now, the relay isn’t working. The opportunities that made America the america that we love, those opportunities are reaching fewer and fewer people.”
He said his grandmother taught him,” When we want change, we don’t wait for change, we work for it,” and that she would not believe it if she were alive today that he would be there today saying, “I am a candidate for president of the United States of America.”
Introduced by his twin brother U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro of Texas and his mother, who said his son believes in the “infrastructure of opportunity… that every family should be given.”
As a supporter of universal healthcare, the renewal of the assault weapons ban, LGBTQ rights and pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Castro is the second candidate to formally launch a campaign.
Former U.S. Representative John Delaney has been running for more than a year, opening an office in Des Moines today.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has formed an exploratory committee and has begun holding campaign events in Iowa and New Hampshire, the states with the earliest contests. And Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said in a CNN interview slated to air Saturday night that she will be formally announcing her candidacy within the next week.