A year after announcing his candidacy during an event in his native San Antonio, Julían Castro is suspending his 2020 presidential campaign. On January 2, the city's former mayor announced his decision in a nearly four-minute video to supporters.
"With a month until the Iowa caucuses, and given the circumstances of this campaign season, I've determined this simply isn't our time," he said in the video.
The video also served as a campaign highlight reel, recapping some of his more headline-grabbing moments over the past 12 months. (Though, it does not include the infamous Castro-Biden exchange from the September 12, 2019 debate.)
Instead, the video showcases Castro as one of the more progressive voices in the Democratic field. Among the first candidates to enter the race, Castro spent the past year campaigning on border issues, spotlighting police brutality, and candidly discussing race relations in America.
“Julián Castro has stood for the voiceless and those left forgotten his entire career, and his presidential campaign was no different," Gilberto Hinojosa, chair of Texas Democratic Party, said in a statement following Castro's announcement. "Our country is better off because of Julián Castro’s bold and progressive solutions that challenged the status quo and put people first."
The only Latinx candidate, Castro is the latest person of color to drop out of the race. As of January 2, only Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, and Deval Patrick remain in what was once the most diverse grouping of candidates in Democratic history.
In his farewell video, Castro alludes to the seemingly arcane process of running for president, one that involves polls and hitting fundraising goals to participate in debates, but doesn't go into detail. "I'm going to tell the truth. It's time for the Democratic Party to change the way we do our presidential nominating process," he says simply.
One thing that is clear from the video is this isn't goodbye. The Castros have a long history of public service in San Antonio, beginning with his mother, Rosie, who served as a community activist on the Westside and a twin brother, Joaquin, currently serving in the House of Representatives. After following in his mother's footsteps, Castro served as mayor of San Antonio for four years before being handpicked by President Barack Obama to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
"I'm so proud of the campaign we've run together. We've shaped the conversation on so many important issues in this race, stood up for the most vulnerable people, and given a voice to those who are often forgotten."