The 2020 presidential race began with a large field of Democrats vying to challenge President Donald Trump. Two of those candidates were Texans. But neither will reach the finish line. Former San Antonio mayor and U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julián Castro, announced Thursday that he will end his presidential campaign.
“With only a month to the Iowa caucuses, and given the circumstances of this campaign season, I’ve determined it simply isn’t our time. So today, it’s with a heavy heart and with profound gratitude that I will suspend my campaign for president,” Castro said in a video statement.
Carlos Sanchez is senior editor at Texas Monthly, and political writer on border and immigration issues. He says Castro was among the first Democrats to announce his candidacy.
“He kicked off what was considered the most diverse presidential platform race in the Democratic Party,” Sanchez says. “And his departure today suggests that diversity is all but gone.”
Sanchez says Castro was a “perfect foil” to a candidate like Trump.
Sanchez says the remaining Democratic candidates are fighting to determine whether the party will offer a centrist candidate or a more progressive one. And Castro stumbled because he didn’t fit either of those paradigms completely.
“I think in many respects, he was emerging as the conscience of the Democratic Party, pointing out truths that didn’t resonate well with traditionalists in the Democratic Party,” Sanchez says.
Among Castro’s controversial stands was a call to reorder the primary election schedule to give states whose populations include more people of color an earlier slot.
“I think that Julián’s departure should be something that others take note of as worrisome,” Sanchez says.
But Castro could help Democrats succeed in Texas in 2020, Sanchez says. He cold also help Democrats reach Hispanic voters in other states, including Nevada and Florida.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.