At this point in the four-year presidential election cycle — weeks before the midterms — most potential candidates play coy when asked about their plans to run for president. But in an interview with Yahoo Finance, Julián Castro, former San Antonio mayor and U.S. secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration, was unusually open about his political ambitions, saying it is “likely” he will launch a White House bid.
“I want to be straightforward with folks,” said on Yahoo Finance’s “Market Movers” Wednesday. “I’m seriously considering it.”
Castro said that he will make a “final decision” after the Nov. 6 elections.
If he runs, Castro, 44, will probably be the youngest serious candidate in the race. Sen. Bernie Sanders (77), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (76), former Vice President Joe Biden (75), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (69), Sen. Kamala Harris (53), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (51), Sen. Cory Booker (49) and lawyer Michael Avenatti (47) are all older. “I disagree with people who say that we have no Democratic bench,” Castro said.
As a former mayor, Castro said, he has a “lot of respect” for Bloomberg.
“He was mayor when I was mayor in San Antonio,” Castro said. “And I know he was doing some fantastic work that other cities were able to learn from.”
“I’m sure that whoever’s in that Democratic primary, as is the nature of politics, the contrasts are going to become clearer,” Castro said. “But I think the good news for Democrats is that we have a lot of talented folks.”
His twin brother, Joaquín, is a Democratic congressman representing Texas’s 20th Congressional District in the San Antonio suburbs. (Joaquín Castro, who is seeking reelection this fall, has been tagged as a potential 2020 gubernatorial candidate in the Longhorn State.)
Last month, both Julián and Joaquín joined Beto O’Rourke, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, at campaign stops along the Texas border.
Julián Castro said that if he runs for president, he will use his experience outside Washington to his advantage.
“People want a new generation of leadership,” he said. “They want folks coming from outside Washington. They want new faces. And I believe you’re going to have that in 2020.”
Castro also said he isn’t worried about the potential of a large field damaging Democrats’ chances to take back the White House.
“I think it’s going to be cathartic,” he said. “We need to go through the experience of having a whole bunch of folks get to run. … I think the nominee in 2020 is going to be stronger because of that.”
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