Julián Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development Secretary under President Barack Obama, as well as a former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, announced on Thursday he was suspending his campaign to become president.
Castro was seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination with hopes of directly challenging current Republican President Donald Trump in the general election later this year. In spite of being one of the first major candidates to announce his bid for president, Castro struggled with garnering support in polls, both nationwide and within critical first-in-the-nation caucus and primary state polls.
“It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today,” Castro wrote in a tweet Thursday morning. “I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts — I hope you’ll join me in that fight.
It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today.
I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts—I hope you’ll join me in that fight. pic.twitter.com/jXQLJa3AdC
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 2, 2020
Castro set his sights on Trump from the get-go, directly challenging his racist remarks in the past and decrying him as an identity-centric politician.
“[Trump’s] specialty, if you will, is division, trying to just amp up a base,” Castro said during his campaign, according to NPR. “He’s the biggest identity politician that we’ve had over the past 50 years.”
Castro also launched a series of commercials airing on Fox News morning broadcasts, knowing that was a favorite time for the president to watch his favorite cable news series, Fox & Friends. Within those commercials, the Latino candidate cited specific instances in which Trump’s words divided the nation.
“President Trump: You referred to countries as s—holes. You urged American Congresswomen to ‘go back’ to where they came from. You called immigrants rapists,” he noted in the ads, according to prior reporting from HillReporter.com.