Castro launches political group ahead of possible 2020 run

Castro launches political group ahead of possible 2020 run

Julián Castro’s new PAC will back candidates for office as he makes a decision about whether to run for the presidency.

The new group is called “Opportunity First,” a favorite catchphrase of Castro’s since his days as mayor of San Antonio, though it is also similar to President Donald Trump’s “America First” slogan. The group will support candidates for federal, state and local office and could finance other political activities for Castro, who has already lent a hand to several congressional and gubernatorial candidates around the country since the end of the Obama administration.

Documents filed this week for Opportunity First list Castro as its president. Castro declined to comment.

Castro, long considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, has discussed his political intentions carefully, telling reporters that he will not run for office in 2018 but is not ruling out running for president. Castro expanded a little more in a June interview on the Austin PBS show “Overheard with Evan Smith,” telling the Texas Tribune’s Smith that he will “look and see how things develop over the next year or so and then make a decision as to whether that’s something I want to do.”

He is taking several preliminary steps associated with presidential campaigns; in addition to forming a political group, Castro is also writing a memoir.

Castro’s signature accomplishment as San Antonio’s mayor was championing a one-eighth cent sales tax increase to fund new pre-kindergarten centers, and as secretary of Housing and Urban Development he described the department as “the Department of Opportunity.” On the national political stage, Castro delivered a well-received keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention — where he called on the nation to “invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow” — before then-President Barack Obama nominated him to the Cabinet in 2014.



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