WASHINGTON – Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Obama administration, ended his presidential bid Thursday.
Castro, also the former mayor of San Antonio, said “I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time” in a roughly four-minute-long video and campaign montage released on Twitter.
“It’s with a heavy heart and with profound gratitude that I will suspend my campaign for president,” Castro said, citing the “circumstances of this campaign season” and the upcoming Iowa caucuses.
Castro did not announce his plans but said in the video, “I’m not done fighting.”
Castro, 45, formally announced he was running for president on Jan. 12, 2019, in his hometown, San Antonio.
Castro was the only Latino candidate to run for president in 2020. During his campaign announcement, he made statements in English and Spanish and walked onto stage playing Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla.
“When my grandmother got here almost a hundred years ago, I’m sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for president of the United States of America,” Castro told a crowd of supporters when he announced his candidacy.
The Texas Democrat stood at 1.2%, according to an average of polling from Real Clear Politics, and struggled to raise money among a crowded Democratic field.
At one point during the campaign, Castro asked his supporters to help him raise $800,000 within 10 days, framed as a last-ditch effort to get on to the November debate stage or else he would end his presidential bid.
Castro’s campaign did not release fundraising totals for the fourth quarter of 2019, but it raised $3.5 million in the third quarter. By comparison, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., raised $34.5 million in the fourth quarter.
Race and immigration were central points to Castro’s campaign. He repeatedly proposed repealing a law that criminalized unauthorized border crossings, which some of his other presidential opponents briefly endorsed.
Throughout the campaign, Castro would pit himself against President Donald Trump, repeatedly slamming the administration and its policies. He was one of the first candidates to call for Trump to be impeached.
The hashtag #AdiosTrump went viral after Castro said it in a closing statement after one of the debates.