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Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro Takes First Steps In 2020 White House Bid



Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro has launched an exploratory committee, Julián for the Future, to test the waters for a potential White House bid in 2020. The Associated Press confirmed the move, and notes that an exploratory committee “usually is a formality before a candidate launches a presidential campaign” and that it “legally allows potential candidates to begin raising money.”

“Americans are ready to climb out of this darkness. We’re ready to keep our promises, and we’re not going to wait. We’re going to work,” Castro said in a video statement posted on an official website for the exploratory committee. “That’s why I’m exploring a candidacy for president of the United States in 2020.”

Castro plans to make a decision on January 12 in his home state of Texas. The creation of the exploratory committee gives him a head start over more prominent Democrats like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Castro, for his part, says it is still too early to determine a front-runner in an already crowded field of prospective candidates.

“It doesn’t bother me that in December of 2018 I’m not right up at the top of the list,” he told the AP. “If I decide to run, it would be because I believe I have a compelling message and I’m going to work hard and get to the voters and I believe I can be successful.”

Castro’s name was once floated as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election campaign. Although he has been open about his intention to run for president, his name has been eclipsed by fellow Texan and rising political star Beto O’Rourke, who launched an unsuccessful bid to unseat incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

“He’s talented. He ran a good race against Ted Cruz,” Castro said of O’Rourke. “I’ll let him talk about his future.”