Former Obama housing secretary Julian Castro has dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination after failing to crack 1 percent in most polls. His platform lives on in how it pushed other candidates leftward.
Castro released a video on Thursday thanking his supporters and promising to “keep fighting for an America where everyone counts.” Touting his record of “speaking up for the most vulnerable folks in this country,” the former San Antonio mayor boasted of “shaping the conversation” in the 2020 race, but admitted that he had realized “it simply isn’t our time,” with just a month to go before the caucuses in Iowa.
It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today.I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts—I hope you’ll join me in that fight. pic.twitter.com/jXQLJa3AdC
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 2, 2020
Castro made waves by promising on the debate stage to decriminalize illegal border crossings, leading many other candidates to adopt that position – unpopular as it may be among voters.
A third-generation immigrant, he entered the presidential race almost exactly a year ago, holding up his success – first mayor of a large Texas city, then secretary of Housing and Urban Development under then-President Barack Obama – as proof of “what is possible when this country gets it right.”
However, he was not able to distinguish himself in fundraising or poll numbers, struggling to crack one percent for most of the race (though some polls put him as high as 4 percent). He nearly ended his campaign in October, getting in just under the wire with the $800,000 his campaign needed to go forward. Castro has blamed the primary schedule, in which largely-white states like Iowa and New Hampshire vote first, for potentially skewing results, claiming they do not represent the country’s true demographics.
Castro’s departure leaves the still-crowded Democratic field with 14 candidates, with another 12 – many of whom voters would not even recognize – having dropped out. Some have speculated that Castro, who reportedly made the shortlist to be Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick in 2016, could end up back in the race as another candidate’s VP.
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