Former mayor of San Antonio, Julián Castro, is set to headline at the New Hampshire Young Democrats 2018 Granite Slate Awards Dinner. According to NBC News, Castro plans to give a speech at the dinner which could begin his path toward a run for president in 2020.
Castro, 43, was the former Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Obama and was one of the potential running mates for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Castro has previously shown interest in running for the presidential office and formed the Opportunity First political action committee in 2017.
“I have every interest in running,” said Castro. “Part of the process of figuring out whether I’m going to run is going to listen to folks and feel the temperature [of voters].”
However, Castro says for now his main priority is to elect Democrats to state legislatures in order to win back the U.S. House of Representatives majority. “I’m going to spend my time in 2018 making sure that great young progressive candidates get elected,” he said.
Castro says the need for Democratic control at the state and federal levels is critical with President Donald Trump manning the White House. “This guy is taking the country in the completely wrong direction and he’s hurting people while he’s doing it,” Castro told NBC News.
Castro criticized President Trump’s ending of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Known as “Dreamers,” DACA recipients are those who came to the U.S. illegally as children.
DACA enables Dreamers to work in the U.S. without fear of being deported. However, now that DACA has ended, thousands of DACA recipients may be deported to nations may not even remember.
Castro cited a study during an October 2017 interview, revealing that approximately 97% of DACA recipients were either enrolled in school or employed as of 2017. DACA recipients namely live in larger cities, which have private school enrollments 1.5 times that of public schools.
Not only would ending DACA significantly impact the U.S. economy, but it would also take students away from their education and workers away from their jobs. “I have a completely different vision for the country,” said Castro. “And this seems like an important moment to turn things around.”
Castro was elected to the San Antonio City Council at the age of 26. His twin brother, Joaquín Castro, is currently a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Texas’ 20th congressional district.
Lucas Meyer, the president of the New Hampshire Young Democrats, described Castro as a young, inspiring leader. “[He’s] speaking the language young people speak,” he said, “and connecting on those issues.”