Democrat Julian Castro launches bid for US presidential race

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Texas Democrat Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor and top U.S. housing official, formally launched his White House bid yesterday, entering as a dark horse candidate in a likely crowded field vying to challenge President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

Castro made the announcement in San Antonio today, saying, "We're going to make sure that the promise of America is available to everyone in the 21st century". It wasn't long before Democrats nationally embraced him as a star in the making, particularly one from Texas, where a booming Hispanic population is rapidly changing the state's demographics and improving the party's fortunes. And Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said in a CNN interview slated to air Saturday night that she will be formally announcing her candidacy within the next week. Cory Booker - among many other - vying for the White House.

"There are serious issues that need to be addressed in our broken immigration system, but seeking asylum is a legal right". He said that if he is elected, his first executive action would be to recommit the U.S.to the Paris Climate Accord that President Trump abandoned a year ago.

"We have to have border security, but there's a smart and humane way to do is", he said.

Acknowledging that his run for the White House was a long shot, as a growing number of high-profile Democrats are expected to enter the race, Castro referred to his hometown of San Antonio.

Supporters cheer for former San Antonio Mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro at an event where he announced his decision to seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, in San Antonio, Jan. 12, 2019.

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"There is no way in hell that caging babies is a smart or a right or good way to do it".

Launching his bid under the slogan "One nation, one destiny", he said: "We say no to the construction of the wall and yes to the construction of communities".

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In his convention speech Castro highlighted "an unlikely journey" that he has lived, including growing up with twin brother Joaquin, who is a U.S. congressman.

"Today we're falling backwards instead of moving forward".

Sen. Kamala Harris of California this past week published a memoir, a staple of presidential candidates. Ted Cruz turned O'Rourke into a national Democratic celebrity.

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Castro, however, may not be the only Texan in the race.

Since announcing formation of an exploratory committee in December, Mr Castro has begun to stake out positions on policy debates that will dominate the nominating contests that kick off early next year.

Yet, in the years since his keynote speech in Charlotte, N.C., Castro has been content to remain on the sidelines as other Democrats moved ahead of him in attention and popularity.

A lawyer by training, Castro was born into a noted family of political activists.

"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", Castro told the AP.

A native of San Antonio, Castro was elected to the City Council in 2001 at age 26 - its youngest member in history - and became mayor eight years later.

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Mr Castro, who was considered on the short list to be Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 election, will try to leverage his Obama administration experience while making the case he is still a political newcomer.

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