SAN ANTONIO – Surrounded by supporters, Julian Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, announced his presidency on Saturday, becoming the third largest Democratic candidate for 2020.
"We promise America's promises to everyone 21st century available, "he told the crowd.
The graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School made the announcement in his hometown, where he was mayor from 2009 to 2014. His term ended when former President Barack Obama called him to the HUD Secretary.
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seventh-largest city as proof of his leadership skills and why he should write history as the nation's first Latino president.
He described climate change and public health as some of his top priorities.
Castro, who stopped off in Iowa and Las Vegas a few days before his announcement, is now joining a potentially crowded Democratic field. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren launched a committee of inquiry on December 31
Rep. Maryland's John Delaney is already running for president, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said in an interview Friday that she chose the White House.
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If he wins, Castro would not only be the first Latin American president. At only 44, he would be one of the youngest Americans to occupy the seat.
Critics say that the long list of hopefuls could easily surpass Texas citizens.
"The people here in San Antonio obviously know him … But if you come out of Texas and ask an ordinary citizen on the street, and you say Julian Castro, they'll probably say who? Said Johnny Arredondo, member of the Republican Club of Bexar County.
"Julian Castro has made history by becoming one of the biggest lightweights ever to run for president," republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens said in a statement. "He was a weak mayor who could not even become a HUD secretary, which is obviously just another desperate attempt to become the roommate of another."
Castro, though widely known in Texas politics, became a member of the National Democratic National Convention speech in 2012. After ending his tenure as HUD secretary, Castro was transferred as a potential vice-presidential candidate for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but was transferred to Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, Andrew Sanders Professor of Political Science at Texas A & M University in San Antonio says Castro's early announcement is a good move.
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" He's already no longer in the limelight. His government experience is somewhat limited compared to some other names that are likely to occur in this area. So it's probably a wise move for him to get his name out here, "Sanders said.
However, Castro's supporters believe that the three-month mayor has what it takes to reach the highest public office in the country.
"He is the epitome of the American dream … Julian is as driven as he is and he wants to win. And at every stage of his life, he was a winner. And he does what is necessary to win the elections, "said political strategist Christian Archer, who led Castro's successful inauguration of the mayor.
Castro stressed the preservation of public housing, investment in affordable new housing, and efforts to Doing this makes the letting market more affordable in its time as HUD secretary.
As mayor, Castro insisted on Pre-K 4 SA, an elite pre-K program that became a signature line for the candidate.
Others have again classified Castro's actions as too extreme.
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deeply in debt, with bloated bureaucracy … Julian Castro may be considered a Hispanic version of Obama will be referred to, "said George Rodriguez, spokesman for the Republican Party of Bexar County.
hopes.  "I think he still has a long way to go. But then there is this next generation of leaders. And I think if people take a moment to listen to what Julian Castro did in the past, but more importantly, what his vision is for the future, I think he will catch fire. Archer said.