The 2020 Presidential Campaign Season Is Already Starting With This Early Announcement

by Chelsea Stewart
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It might only be 2018, but the list of potential 2020 presidential candidates is already being assembled. It's been heavily speculated that some of those presidential hopefuls could include Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (R-New York), and while many of us have been musing over those names, one person took an official step toward a possible White House 2020 campaign: Julian Castro. That said, you're probably wondering just who Julian Castro is, which is why I've dug up all this information for you.

Castro, 44, previously served as housing and urban development secretary under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017, according to The Huffington Post, and was also the mayor of San Antonio, Texas between 2009 and 2014. Perhaps more relevantly, he was also on the short list of Hillary Clinton's potential running mates in 2016, and now he wants to be your president — well, maybe.

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, Castro shared a message to Twitter announcing that he'd set up an exploratory committee to test out his support for a potential presidential bid. He attached a four-minute video message along to the post in which he outlined his vision for America, from all Americans having health care to having a better, cleaner planet. The message said:

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. That’s why I’m exploring a candidacy for president of the United States in 2020. I never thought, when I was growing up on the west side of San Antonio, that I would be speaking to you today about this. My name is Julian Castro and I know the promise of America.

The Texas Democrat told the Associated Press on Wednesday afternoon that he plans to announce his final decision on whether he'll run or not by Jan. 12, 2019.

Castro first revealed his interest in running for the presidency back in October. In an interview with Rolling Stone, published on Oct. 16, he said he was “likely” to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. "I'm likely to do it. I have a strong vision for the country. I believe that our country's going in the wrong direction and that it needs new leadership. I'll make a final decision after November, but I'm inclined to do it," Castro explained to the outlet.

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He joins a long list of potential Democratic candidates in the 2020 race, including O'Rourke, who surprisingly lost his bid for senator of Texas after attracting national attention in perhaps one of the most closely watched battles in the midterm elections. While he initially denied that he would seek the White House, he later backpedaled on the comments, saying in November that he would not rule out the possibility completely.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has also toyed with the possibility of a presidential run as recently as Dec. 4, when he said he is the "most qualified person" to be president during an appearance in Minnesota, per CNN. Not to mention all the other potential contenders, from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) to Sanders.

Though he might have some tough competition, Castro seems to be seriously focused, and with any luck, that could take him where he wants to go. We'll see.