Written by on March 1, 2019

Story by Chuck Tackett


2020 is not that far off. Various Democrats are emerging with formal announcements of their intent of vying to be the 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee. My brother, John, and I have had several conversations on who we think might win the Democratic Primary. While we both are not psychics, like Walter Mercado or Miss Cleo, we both came to the conclusion we bet it will be someone we least expect; an underdog who will gain momentum.

As of late, one of the candidates I think of as an underdog is Julian Castro, who served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), under President Barack Obama, in 2014 when President Obama brought his name to the Senate. Before that in 2001, Julian was elected, at age 26, to the San Antonio City Council, being the youngest Council member in San Antonio’s history. In 2009, Castro ran for Mayor of San Antonio and won the election by 56%. Julian Castro was one of the youngest mayors in the Top 50 cities in America. Julian won re-election in 2011 and 2013. In 2011 he received 82% of the vote. In 2013, he received 67% of the vote.

Recently, Castro appeared on CNN’s “The Van Jones Show.” Van asked Julio several policy questions. I don’t have enough space to provide you with all the questions Van asked, so I picked a few. They are;

Re: Why he wants to be President – “For me, it really is the fact that I have been blessed like a lot of other people to have a great opportunity in this country. That didn’t happen by accident. It happened because there were certain things made available, like good public schools, the opportunity to go to college, and then pursue a career. I want to make sure those same kinds of opportunities are there for families across the United States. I have a track record of getting things done as a Mayor, and as a Cabinet Member. I have a strong vision for the future of the country that, hopefully, we will get to chat about.”

Re: The issue of immigration – “I am hopeful because there are places for compromise. The Democrats have mentioned several types of improvements in the budget they are willing to make in things like more personnel at the border, better technology, and also securing ports of entry. Folks may have seen, about a week and a half ago, we had one of our largest bust of Fentanyl at the Arizona border. That didn’t come through the desert. There’s not a single thing that a wall could have done there. It came from a port of entry. We need to do a better job there. My hope is that they (Democrats & Republicans) can compromise there.”

Re: People across America not knowing who he is – “I see it as an opportunity. The people who do know who I have a favorable impression of me. I keep doing interviews like this, knock on doors, and do everything you do in a campaign, I’m very confident at the end of the day, I will pick up a lot more momentum.”

Re: Medicare for all – “What I believe is that we should have a system where anybody who wants to be enrolled for Medicare can get it. People have asked, ‘Well can people still have a supplemental plan or private health insurance plans?’ Countries do it differently. I believe we can have a system where if somebody wants their own private insurance they can have it. Here’s what I don’t believe. I don’t believe that your ability to get health care when you need it should be determined by somebody’s profit motive. Everybody should have the access to health care when they need it.”

Re: His Legendary mother (Rosie Castro) – “My mother has been a hell-raiser when she was young. She was involved in the old “Chicano Movement,” basically the “Mexican American Civil Rights Movement.” When we were growing up, she would drag us to the rallies/marches and all of that. What I took from that is there is a value in participating. A lot of people grow up and they think, ‘Well those politicians are all crooks,’ or, ‘You can’t trust none of them.’ I won’t say that I never thought that, but I took from her that if you want to make a positive change in the world, you got to get up, get active, and do something. The blessing of growing up in the generation I’m growing up in, and certainly the younger generations, is that we can actually run and win. My mom ran for City Council when she was 23 years old in San Antonio under the slate, “The Committee For Barrio Embetterment.” None of them won because of the times. 30 years later, I became the youngest City Council member ever elected there, at the age of 26, because of the progress her, and so many other people help make possible. That’s the blessing that they gave us.”

Julian Castro is the twin brother of Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro.

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