Texas Politics

Julián Castro rallies voters in Fort Worth, says presidential campaign getting stronger

Julián Castro is not a frontrunner in the 2020 presidential election campaign, but he says that is going to change.

Castro joined mayoral candidate Deborah Peoples on Saturday in a get-out-the-vote rally in south Fort Worth. The former San Antonio mayor endorsed Peoples, who will be block-walking and campaigning through the afternoon.

“Deborah is not going to back down; she is going to make sure that everybody is protected and has a voice in Fort Worth,” Castro said to the crowd of about 300 people who gathered in the Mi Charrito Ray restaurant on Westcreek Drive.

After talking about local elections, Castro moved on to discuss his own campaign after prompting from Peoples. He advocated for criminal justice reform, universal Pre-K and Medicare for all. He also said if he were to be elected president, his first act in the Oval Office would be to re-commit the United States to the Paris Climate Accord.

On Friday, Castro reached the milestone of gathering 65,000 contributors in his campaign, securing his spot in the first presidential debates in June. He said in an interview after the rally that the achievement shows his campaign is growing in strength.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m the frontrunner in May of 2019. What matters is building a campaign that gets stronger and stronger so that I’m the frontrunner in February of 2020,” he said.

Julián Castro joined mayoral candidate Deborah Peoples in a Get Out the Vote Rally in south Fort Worth on Saturday. Kaley Johnson kjohnson@star-telegram.com

Castro said the Democratic field “is wide open,” but he believes he stands out because he can secure needed electoral votes that other candidates may not be able to win in Arizona, Florida and Texas.

On Wednesday, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the first presidential candidate to call for Attorney General William Barr’s resignation or impeachment. He said he also wants Donald Trump to be held accountable for possible obstruction of justice.

“This administration has just misled the American people and Congress so many times that the question becomes, when is enough enough?” he said in an interview after the rally.

Castro said Tarrant County has an important role to play in the 2020 elections.

“What we can say about Fort Worth right now is that it is a city that is very competitive,” he said.

Tarrant County polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Voters can find their polling place online or by calling 817-831-8683.

Mayoral candidate Deborah Peoples takes photos outside Mi Charrito resturant at a Get Out the Vote rally on Election Day in Fort Worth. Kaley Johnson kjohnson@star-telegram.com