Julian Castro Announces 2020 Presidential Bid

Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro announced his bid to run for President of the United States of America in his hometown on Saturday. Castro is among the first in a long list of expected Democratic candidates to officially announce their bids.

Castro made his announcement at Plaza Guadalupe in San Antonio.

Castro isn't a neophyte on the national scene. He gained notoriety when he delivered a keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and was later appointed by President Barack Obama as the secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), making him the youngest member of President Obama's Cabinet.

Though his term as HUD secretary ended in 2017 when President Obama left office, Castro's name surfaced as a potential vice-president running mate in 2016, and most recently as a Democratic candidate for governor in Texas to face incumbent Greg Abbott.

Tim Kaine was eventually selected to be Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 presidential race, and the Republicans won. Castro never entered the Texas governor's race, and the incumbent Republican won.

Whether or not it was timing to not get into either of those races, Castro feels he is the right person to take on President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

"Well, I'm not the frontrunner," Castro, 44, told NBC News. "But, you know, I don't think I can think of one time in my life where I was the frontrunner. If you go to the neighborhood that I grew up in, nobody that was growing up there was the frontrunner. And today, in this country, there are a lot of people that don't feel like the frontrunner. … Fundamentally, this campaign is not going to be about me."

He might not even be the frontrunner in his home state, which became immersed with Betomania in 2018 when Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke ran a solid campaign for U.S. Senator against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. O'Rourke raised more money than Cruz. And more importantly, for 2020's sake, O'Rourke became a national name and one of the frontrunners for all Democrats — at least 30 are expected to toss their names in the hat.

Early projections have prominent Washington politicians like O'Rourke, former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris possibly running.

Should Castro win the Democratic nomination and eventual presidency, he would become one of the youngest Americans to ever hold the White House, and he would be the first Hispanic to do so.

"There's not a clear road for him right away to the top tier," University of New Hampshire political scientist Dante Scala said in The Dallas Morning News. "His burden is to show that it's his time, right now, and not in another four years or another eight years."

Castro comes from a family of politicians and activist. His identical twin brother, Joaquin Castro, was a state representative. Their mother, Rosie Castro, was one of the leaders of La Raza Unida, a 1970's radical "Chicano" movement promoting civil rights for Mexican-Americans, mostly in Texas and Southern California during the height of the movement.

"Mine is an immigrant story," Castro said in his NBC News interview. "It's an American dream story. It's a testament that everybody counts in this country. And I look forward to sharing a vision where everybody, whether you're Latino or any other background, you can reach your dreams in this country."

At age 26, Julian Castro became the youngest member elected to the San Antonio City Council, and served as mayor until 2014. During his time leading the city, he persuaded residents to pass a $30 sales tax to fund pre-K education.

He left his post and joined Obama's Cabinet until 2017, and now it looks like he's taking the next step toward the seat of the most powerful elected office in the free world.

"I don't think it's necessarily about always having the shiniest words or approach, "Castro said. "People want to know that somebody has the right experience and that they have the right vision to make sure that their family can succeed in this country. And I have that."