Former Obama HUD Secretary Julian Castro Drops Out of 2020 Race

Julian Castro speaks to members of the media the morning after participating in the first Democratic debate in Miami, Fla., June 27, 2019. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Julian Castro announced Thursday that he was suspending his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

“It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today,” the former Housing and Urban Development secretary wrote on Twitter.

Castro, who also served as San Antonio mayor, has lagged in recent polls and failed to make the last two debate stages. The only Latino in the Democratic primary, Castro made immigration reform a central part of his platform after advocating for the decriminalization of unauthorized border crossings.

“The reason that they’re separating these little children from their families is they’re using Section 1325 . . . to incarcerate the parents and then separate them,” Castro said in the opening Democratic debate in June to applause. After sparring with fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke over the issue, nearly all the Democratic candidates publicly signaled their support for Castro’s proposal, despite concerns that such a stance would only worsen the humanitarian crisis.

Castro’s announcement mentions his fight to end Section 1325 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, which makes “improper entry” into the U.S. a federal misdemeanor. It also references his advocacy against “police violence,” and features Castro listing the names of African Americans and Latinos who were killed by police or died in police custody in recent years.

Castro’s opponents took to Twitter to react to the news.

“You made this race stronger—and you will continue to be a leader in our party and our country for many years to come,” Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) wrote.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey thanked Castro for “sticking up for underrepresented communities and pushing the field forward.”

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