SAN ANTONIO – Julian Castro, former San Antonio mayor and U.S. housing secretary, took to Twitter to announce he was dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary with “a heavy heart and profound gratitude."
The video showed Castro on the campaign trail around the country as he expresses his thoughts on the issues he raised, such as immigration and police brutality. He also urges young people “to keep reaching for your dreams; keep fighting for what you believe in.”
Just as he announced his candidacy on Jan. 12, 2019, in English and Spanish, Castro closed his video saying, “Ganaremos un dia. One day we’ll win."
Christian Archer, a political strategist who ran Castro’s mayoral campaign, said he was disappointed with the process.
“When he couldn’t make the debate stage, I think everybody kind of knew the end was near,” Archer said.
He said to make the cut, the crowded field of candidates had to meet benchmarks in their polling and political fundraising.
Archer said he agrees with Castro that a change is needed, “so that all of our great young, up-and-coming stars get a chance to be heard.”
He said Castro’s withdrawal as the only Latino in the 2020 presidential primary further diluted the diversity among Democratic candidates. Only Cory Booker, the first African American elected as New Jersey’s U.S. senator, remains.
Henry Flores, professor emeritus of political science at St. Mary’s University, said as it is now, the nation’s first three primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, have a vast majority of white voters.
Even so, Flores said he had hoped Castro would have stayed in through the Iowa caucus, where he campaigned heavily.
Flores said he believes the holidays often give candidates a chance to visit with their families, giving their campaigns a reality check.
There’s already speculation about Castro’s chances as a running mate or potential cabinet member, so both Flores and Archer said they predict Castro’s career is far from over.
Flores said he doesn’t believe Castro made a mistake jumping into the race, given the odds against him.
“He’s learned at least what it takes to put together a national organization,” Flores said. “He’s learned how that costs. He’s learned what he needs to have a good, solid team around him to go forward.”
Archer said he hasn’t discussed the possibility with Castro, but “I think that he would be a great gubernatorial candidate.”