Julian Castro rallying Iowa Democrats as he ponders his 2020 future

Far away from his native Texas on Saturday, Julián Castro was greeted by a familiar sign from home.A...

Posted: Oct 15, 2018 11:25 AM
Updated: Oct 15, 2018 11:25 AM

Far away from his native Texas on Saturday, Julián Castro was greeted by a familiar sign from home.

A woman who donned a University of Texas at San Antonio T-shirt approached the 44-year-old former mayor of San Antonio. A mother of a UTSA graduate, she beckoned Castro for a photo, throwing up the famous Texan hand sign.

Continents and regions

Government and public administration

Iowa

Julian Castro

Midwestern United States

North America

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

The Americas

United States

US Democratic Party

US political parties

"You know, I have to say, I felt at home coming in, walking in, and there's a (UTSA) shirt," Castro said to a jovial crowd of 70 door-knockers that amassed in the front office of the Webster County Democrats' headquarters to support J.D. Scholten, a candidate for Iowa's 4th Congressional District.

This was the second trip to Iowa since August for Castro, a former housing and urban development secretary in the Obama administration. Officially, it's one of his many stops across the country to rally Democrats in an effort to flip the House and possibly the Senate back to blue, but Castro's visit once again stoked speculation that he, too, would join a plethora of politicos thought to become possible 2020 contenders.

This month, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker finished his first swing through the Hawkeye State, and fellow Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California is set to make her entrance into the Iowa field this week. Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who fell short of the Democratic nomination in 2016, will stump in the state next week.

But as with almost every other potential Democratic contender, Castro kept his message trained on 2018 and said he won't decide on his political future until the midterms are over.

"What can you say about the last 18 months except than it's been absolutely crazy, and it does not reflect the values of our country," Castro said Saturday while stumping for Scholten. "We have the opportunity to make history and set the country in the right direction. And all of that starts with y'all, and making sure people actually get out there and vote."

Standing 6 feet 6 inches tall, Scholten, who coincidentally says he's lagging only 6 percentage points behind in a district that has elected his opponent, Republican Rep. Steve King, eight times, urged the canvassers to use their "pent up frustration" from the 2016 presidential election and channel it into votes to push him into office.

"This race is going to come down to razor-thin margins," Scholten said. "Everything I see out there, everything I see in the polls, everything I see in my gut. it's going to come down to minimal votes. So that door knock, that engagement with folks. It's precious."

While supporting Cindy Axne, a candidate in Iowa's 3rd Congressional District, on Friday, Castro said, "I'm in Iowa helping candidates that are on the 2018 ballot. I'm not going to make a decision about the future until after this election because all of our attention needs to be focused on 2018."

Speaking in 40-degree weather on a gray Iowa day to a crowd of more than 50 volunteers, a coat-less Castro joked how his southern origins left him unprepared for fall in the Midwest.

"I'm from Texas, so I apologize, I didn't even bring a sweater today because it was 80 degrees where I was," he said. "I was a little bit of a dumb Texan today. I'll get better, don't worry."

Sounding like a 2020 contender, Castro introduced himself as a product of a single working-class grandmother, mother and public-school education.

"We felt like we lived our American dream. All of us have our American dream," Castro said. "We were able to do that and get the education we had because there were things like Pell grants and Perkins loans, and there was federal work studies. ... This country has been at its greatest when it's willing to invest in people, no matter what their background is or how much money their folks have or don't have."

Still, Castro says any decision about plunging into the presidential waters will hinge on his where his family and his country stand.

"This is a big commitment, and if I were to make it, I want to make sure for my family and for me that it makes sense," Castro said. "I want to get a sense of where the country is in November because I believe these elections set a mood, set a tone for the next four years."

Terre Haute
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 79°
Robinson
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 76°
Indianapolis
Few Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 78°
Rockville
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 75°
Casey
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 78°
Brazil
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 79°
Marshall
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 79°
A Pleasant Overnight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 281303

Reported Deaths: 8744
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1406235180
DuPage16955551
Lake16545486
Will13612374
Kane12790325
St. Clair6386187
Winnebago5531149
Madison5463131
Champaign447220
McHenry4463118
Peoria331449
McLean320020
Rock Island286974
Kankakee267677
Sangamon229044
Unassigned2238236
Kendall194725
Tazewell165721
LaSalle164056
DeKalb148438
Macon143642
Coles139630
Williamson135139
Jackson124824
Clinton108820
Boone107423
Adams103210
Randolph92611
Effingham8361
Whiteside70220
Ogle6516
Vermilion6484
Grundy6455
Monroe63915
Henry6365
Morgan62823
Knox6273
Bureau59711
Jefferson57238
Marion5180
Macoupin5157
Union50724
Franklin5053
Stephenson4846
Christian46011
McDonough45915
Logan4401
Woodford4086
Crawford4002
Cass38911
Jersey38514
Fayette3733
Shelby3604
Iroquois35919
Livingston3486
Lee3471
Perry34215
Montgomery33913
Warren3142
Saline2993
Bond2964
Douglas2857
Wayne2565
Lawrence2512
Jo Daviess2462
Carroll2174
Greene2167
Moultrie2083
Jasper2029
Cumberland2014
Hancock1993
Washington1981
Richland1714
Pulaski1611
White1610
Clark1542
Fulton1530
Johnson1480
Wabash1471
Clay1420
Piatt1320
Mason1291
Mercer1295
Menard1200
Pike1131
Edgar1117
De Witt1041
Ford995
Marshall980
Massac972
Scott750
Alexander731
Gallatin692
Hamilton670
Edwards640
Henderson640
Putnam550
Stark532
Calhoun470
Schuyler460
Brown430
Hardin370
Pope261
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 113337

Reported Deaths: 3530
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20936761
Lake10334319
Elkhart6438109
St. Joseph6226103
Allen6060200
Hamilton4761109
Vanderburgh349430
Hendricks2681122
Monroe251236
Tippecanoe231213
Johnson2279123
Clark215756
Porter209046
Cass19339
Delaware189561
Vigo178524
Madison161075
LaPorte138239
Floyd132161
Howard129063
Warrick122336
Kosciusko120617
Bartholomew115357
Marshall99424
Dubois95918
Boone95646
Hancock91443
Grant89733
Noble89432
Henry78125
Wayne74714
Jackson7429
Morgan70638
Shelby66629
Daviess65428
Dearborn63928
LaGrange63211
Clinton59513
Harrison56424
Putnam53810
Lawrence50628
Montgomery50521
Knox5039
Gibson4894
White48214
DeKalb46311
Decatur45739
Miami4303
Greene41935
Fayette41813
Jasper3862
Steuben3747
Scott35910
Sullivan33112
Jennings31212
Posey3090
Franklin30325
Clay2985
Orange28624
Ripley2828
Carroll27113
Wabash2628
Washington2611
Whitley2556
Starke2537
Adams2523
Wells2503
Jefferson2443
Fulton2352
Huntington2223
Spencer2223
Tipton22022
Perry21513
Randolph2097
Jay1750
Newton17211
Owen1671
Martin1640
Rush1534
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1202
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Brown1033
Crawford1030
Parke961
Benton880
Ohio777
Union770
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0225