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DNC Star Julian Castro's "Twin-Gate" Switcheroo

The Parent Trap-style mini-scandal helped sink Castro's 2005 campaign for mayor. Are we sure it's not Joaquin out there tonight?

Posted on September 4, 2012, at 8:53 p.m. ET

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The 37-year old Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, is scheduled to give the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night. The Texas mayor was first elected in 2009, but during his first run for the office in 2005 — a race he narrowly lost — the then city councilman found himself in a incident that some political operatives compared to the movie "The Parent Trap."

The confusion started when the candidates identical twin brother Joaquin, then a member of the Texas House of Representatives, was spotted on a barge for city council members waving to crowds at the annual San Antonio river parade. The members of the barge knew that it was Joaquin, not Julian in the parade, but most of the members of the crowd, which numbered 250,000, did not. Confusion, increased when a local TV news station covering the parade identified Julian in the boat.

"He was standing in the River Parade because I had to host a neighborhood leaders meeting," Castro told Reuters.

Julian was at another campaign event, and some of Castro's opponents argued he was intentionally trying to deceive the crowd.

"I thought it was Julian Castro myself, as I'm sure tens of thousands of others did," said Phil Hardberger, one of Castro's opponents.

"We can't help that we look like each other. When he was waving, they would say, 'Julian,' and he would say, 'No, it's Joaquin,' but you can't really yell at 200,000 people along the route," Castro told the AP.

"Both of us were going to go, and at the end, we scheduled another meeting," Castro added. "He still wanted to go, and council members could bring family members, and I don't have a spouse.

Castro ended up narrowly losing the 2005 race to Hardberger in a runoff.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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