Julian Castro to announce 2020 presidential campaign decision

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When my grandmother got here, nearly 100 years ago, I'm sure that she never could have imagined that, just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress, and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: "I am a candidate for president of the United States of America". If he runs, he would compete with Castro for Texas campaign money and political support.

"Well, I'm not the frontrunner", Castro, 44, told NBC News.

In a Saturday morning speech at San Antonio's Plaza Guadalupe, Castro denounced President Donald Trump's immigration policies-including his demand for billions of dollars in border wall funding that's produced the longest government shutdown in USA history-and his charaterization of refugees from Central and South America arriving at the Southern border as "a national security crisis". Families from Mexico but also families from Germany and other countries.

Rep. John Delaney of Maryland is already running for president, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said in an interview Friday that she has chose to run for the White House. Before his term as mayor, Castro, at age 26, was the youngest person elected to the San Antonio city council.

Castro's twin brother Joaquin, who introduced him Saturday, is a congressman. He spent some time as a city councilman and then mayor in San Antonio, but he was more of a "local news" phenomenon until Barack Obama plucked him out of Texas and gave him a cabinet position at Housing and Urban Development.

Castro does not yet have the national recognition of luminaries Biden, Sanders and Warren.

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But Castro, who has repeatedly dismissed talk that an O'Rourke candidacy would complicate his own chances, has framed the neighborhood and his upbringing as the story of an underdog. Harris and O'Rourke are also seriously considering presidential runs.

"I am a candidate for president of the United States", the 44-year-old Castro told a crowd in San Antonio's historic Guadalupe Plaza, during a speech that frequently invoked the immigrant heritage that brought his family to the U.S. from Mexico. The announcement was made across the street from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where he was baptized as a child, and where he baptized his children. Even Castro's logo - which emphasizes the accent over the "a" in Julian - highlights the former mayor's heritage.

Dena Grayson, a Democratic strategist, said Castro is a "great guy" and "phenomenal public speaker" who has potential broad appeal in states with large numbers of Hispanic voters, like California, Texas and Florida.

"I am just going to be myself", he said. "Today, this community represents America's future".

Who do you want to see running in 2020? Yeah, we have to have border security, but there is a smart and humane way to do it.

Citing the coalition's calculations, Politico reported that "HUD under Castro has sold 98 percent of the long-delinquent mortgages it acquired through a program aimed at preventing foreclosures to Wall Street banks under Castro's watch, without anywhere near the number of needed strings attached".

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