A former high-ranking Democrat official in President Barack H. Obama’s administration is forming an exploratory committee to consider running for president in 2020.
“Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro says he’s taking a step toward a possible White House campaign in 2020 by forming a presidential exploratory committee. The Texas Democrat tells The Associated Press that he will announce a decision Jan. 12,” according to Associated Press.
Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, was Obama’s United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Exploratory committees are the first formal step in running for president, allowing a potential candidate to raise money. Castro told Rolling Stone in October that he is “likely” to run for president in 2020.
If he enters the race, he will likely be fighting through a crowded field of Democrats for the party’s nomination. Early speculation shows former Vice President Joe Biden polling well, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who ran a very successful race in 2016. Upstart State Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-Texas) is also polling well, despite spending nearly $80 million in a midterm Senate race and losing to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) are also considering presidential runs.
Castro is aware of his potential competition.
“It doesn’t bother me that in December of 2018 I’m not right up at the top of the list,” he reportedly said. “If I decide to run, it would be because I believe I have a compelling message and I’m going to work hard and get to the voters and I believe I can be successful.”
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