Julian Castro, Former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, announces decision on whether to run in 2020
Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro formally announced his bid for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination on Saturday, telling a crowd in San Antonio that he is running for president.
"We’re going to make sure the promise of America is available to everyone in this 21st century," he told the crowd.
Castro, a former Housing and Urban Development Secretary during the Obama administration has presented himself as someone who would zero in on universal health care and affordable housing. He has also promised not to accept money from political action committees tied to corporations and unions.
Castro, 44, will face a packed field for the Democratic nod to challenge President Trump in 2020. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., announced last week that she has formed an exploratory committee, and visited Iowa last week. On Friday Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, announced that she is running.
Republicans immediately dismissed Castro's bid as a "desperate attempt" to become someone else's VP pick.
“Julián Castro has made history by becoming one of the biggest lightweights to ever run for president," RNC Spokesman Michael Ahrens said in a statement. "He was a weak mayor who couldn’t even handle being HUD secretary. This is obviously just another desperate attempt to become someone else’s running mate.”
Other top tier candidates, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are reported to be considering running, but have not yet announced.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.