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Julián Castro Talks Wendy Davis, Football Rivalries And More

Courtney Collins
Julián Castro weighs in on a Wendy Davis gubernatorial run and also explains his odd allegiance to the Philadelphia Eagles in this week's Friday Conversation."

A little more than a year ago, at the Democratic National Convention, a new voice arrived on the national stage. That voice belonged to Julián Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, who got the coveted prime-time convention slot that once served as a launching pad for Barack Obama and before that, Bill Clinton.
Castro was re-elected in May, but his national profile has stayed high, thanks to campaign-style trips across the country. And he’s the first guest in the new KERA series “The Friday Conversation.” During a visit to the Federal Reserve in Dallas this week, he sat down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter.

Interview Highlights

KERA: Wendy Davis is about to announce whether she’ll run for governor. Do you think she’s in?

Castro: I believe she is and I believe she’ll make a strong candidate. It’ll be the first time since Bill White ran, of course, that we’ve have a strong Democratic candidate. She has shown an ability already to get crossover support, so she’s not going to be a two-dimensional candidate, she’ll be a three-dimensional candidate.

KERA: There was a great stat recently on NPR that there are more Hispanic 2-year-olds in Texas than there are 50 year-old non-Hispanic people. What do you think the strategy should be for Democrats to turn that youth wave into a voting wave?

Castro: The challenge for both parties is that they have to have policies that speak to the Hispanic community. The challenge for the Republicans is not necessarily personalities, they have some great personalities like [Sen. Marco] Rubio, Gov. [Susana] Martinez and Gov. [Brian] Sandoval. It really is getting the policies right. For the Democrats, it’s making sure that they don’t take for granted that they’re going to have whole new wave of young Hispanics. They need to get out there in the neighborhoods and do the voter registrations.

KERA: We’ve noticed a lot of Dallas Cowboy smack talk coming from you on Twitter….

Castro: My twin brother Joaquin was a Dallas Cowboys fan, so I had to choose a different team. So I chose the Eagles. Which probably doesn’t make Dallas Cowboys fans very happy. So growing up, the worst days of the year, I mean the worst days of the year, were the two Sundays where the NFC East rivals, the Cowboys and the Eagles would play each other. Because my brother and I would invariably get into fights that day.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.
Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.