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Julian Castro To Explore 2020 Presidential Run

Julian Castro from his San Antonio home.
Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio
Julian Castro from his San Antonio home.

Updated 4 p.m.

Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro announcedWednesdayhe has formed an exploratory committee in preparation for a presidential run in the 2020 election.

Castro, a Democrat who also served as secretary of housing and urban development under President Obama, posted the announcement on his YouTubeand Twitter accounts.

WATCH | Castro's announcement via YouTube

“I believe we can make a promise to people with black and brown skin, people that wear turbans and hijabs andyamakas, that you can walk down the street in your community, in any community and feel safe,” Castro said.

Castro, who was on the short-list of potential running mates for Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign, said he plans to make an official announcementJan. 12.

“Americans are ready to climb out of this darkness, and we’re not going to wait. We’re going to work. That’s why I’m exploring a candidacy for president in 2020,” Castro said.

Since the beginning of 2018, Castro only hinted at a presidential run. But now, he’s not the only Texas Democrat eying the Oval Office.

Shortly after his close Senate loss to Republican Ted Cruz, Beto O’Rourke said he wasn’t ruling out a presidential run in 2020.

Castro, speaking with reporters at his family’s home in San Antonio, welcomes the influx of Democratic leaders expected to announce their own presidential campaigns.

“The thing is, this year you’re going to have a very talented field of people. There might be two dozen people from all over the United States that are running," he said. "I think that is fantastic, not only for Democrats but for the country.”

David Crockett, a political science professor at Trinity University in San Antonio, said O’Rourke's popularity in Texas could present a challenge for Castro when he officially declares his candidacy.

“Both are very high-profile,” he said, “(but) O’Rourke is probably more high-profile right now because his political effort is more recent.”

Castro acknowledged the long road ahead for him if he does officially announce his candidacy, and he accepts the challenge. 

“I didn’t grow up a frontrunner," he said. "I can’t think of a time in my life where I started out as a frontrunner in life. There’s a lot of people today in America who don’t feel like frontrunners and I’m going to speak to them and I believe I can win the nomination.”

Julian Castro and his brother Congressman Joaquin Castro will appear together on the Late Show with Stephen ColbertThursdaynight.

TPR's Brian Kirkpatrick contributed to this report Ryan Poppe can be reached atrpoppe@tpr.orgor on Twitter@RyanPoppe1

Copyright 2020 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.