Former Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro joined the 2020 presidential race Saturday as the rush of Democrats making early moves to challenge President Donald Trump accelerates, while anticipation grows around bigger names still considering a White House run.
"When my grandmother got here nearly 100 years ago, I'm sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later..."
"I'm running for president because it's time for new leadership because it's time for new energy and it's time for a new commitment to make sure that the opportunities I've had are available for every American", he said.
Castro, who served as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014, has always been touted as a national candidate.
Should Castro's bid for the Oval Office be successful, the Harvard Law School graduate would be the country's first Latino president.
Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) have already announced definitive intentions to run for president in 2020. Sen. "Because we're going to make sure that the promise of America is there for everyone".
Mr Castro made his announcement in his home town of San Antonio, Texas, where he was mayor from 2009 to 2014. He was also famously considered a frontrunner to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016, but she ultimately went with Senator Tim Kaine.
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In an interview with NBC News on Friday, Castro said: "Mine is an immigrant story". "That said, his star is definitely not rising anymore, and the sun may be setting on the presidential ambitions of Julian Castro". He also said that he disagrees with the administration's goal of detaining families together as they seek asylum or refugee status, saying that other approaches such as using ankle monitors are more humane and can be effective to track people who enter the US and are awaiting court proceedings.
Mr Castro would be the first identical twin elected president.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California this past week published a memoir, a staple of presidential candidates. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who narrowly lost a Senate bid a year ago, is also weighing a run and has been on the rise in very early polls. Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA launched an exploratory committee on December 31. Ted Cruz turned O'Rourke into a national Democratic celebrity.
Castro was born into a well-known activist family.
Julian Castro, former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, speaks at the Netroots Nation annual conference for political progressives in New Orleans, Louisiana August 4, 2018.
In his remarks, portions of which were delivered in both English and Spanish, Castro said he was compelled to run out of a desire to preserve the "opportunities" that made families like his flourish.
"I know that the press work hard and that they are the friend of the truth in this country", Castro told the media at his event.
Even some supporters at Castro's announcement could be torn if O'Rourke gets in the race.
Laying out other key components of his campaign platform, Castro noted his support for Medicare for All and his rejection of corporate political action committee (PAC) money as well as his dedication to taking action to address the global climate crisis.