In election news, Julián Castro has dropped out of the presidential race. He was the only Latino in the Democratic field. He served as secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration and was previously the mayor of San Antonio, Texas. Throughout his campaign, Castro struggled to gain traction in a crowded Democratic field of mostly white, wealthy candidates. He didn’t qualify for the last two debates in November and December. Castro has demanded the Democratic National Committee reform the presidential nomination system, including changing the order of primary election states, which for years has prioritized the majority-white states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and changing the debate qualifications, which has seen top candidates of color excluded from the stage. Castro ran on a platform of decriminalizing crossing the border, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, and police reform, among other progressive issues. This is Castro in an interview with Democracy Now! in October. I asked him about President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policies.
Julián Castro: “I hope that more and more Americans are paying attention to the depravity of this president and the cruelty that he’s inflicted on people that are simply seeking a better life. And that’s consistent with people from different places all over the world that have come seeking a better life, who have come from desperate circumstances throughout the generations. And so, this is nothing new in our country’s history or the history of the world.”
Julián Castro’s withdrawal from the presidential race comes after California Senator Kamala Harris also dropped out in early December. Marianne Williamson has also laid off her campaign staff nationally.