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Julián Castro Is Ending His Presidential Campaign

The only Latino candidate is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary after struggling to raise money.

Last updated on January 2, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. ET

Posted on January 2, 2020, at 9:18 a.m. ET

Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

Julián Castro announced Thursday he is dropping out of the Democratic presidential race.

In a video recapping his campaign, Castro thanked his supporters and said that "it simply isn't our time."

"With only a month until the Iowa caucuses, and given the circumstances of this campaign season, I've determined that it simply isn't our time. So today it is with a heavy heart and profound gratitude that I will suspend my campaign for president," he says in the video.

Castro, who served as Housing secretary during the Obama administration, has struggled to raise money or build support.

"My presidential campaign is in dire need of financial resources to keep going," he said in an October email to supporters.

In the third quarter, Castro's campaign raised less than it spent — $3,495,406 to $3,960,971. He ended September with just $672,333 on hand, below candidates who have not appeared in the last several primary debates.

His campaign announced in October that if he did not raise $800,000 by the end of the month, he would end his bid. He ultimately met that threshold and stayed in the race through the end of the year.

Castro was the only Latino candidate in what was once a sprawling Democratic primary field. He was openly concerned during his campaign that some voters would discount him over concerns about "electability."

“The worst thing we can do is to make assumptions or use some cookie-cutter formula about who ought to be the nominee of the party,” he told BuzzFeed News in May.

When Sen. Kamala Harris ended her presidential campaign last month, Castro put some of the blame on the media. “To me, they held her to a different standard, a double standard, to other campaigns. And I don’t know if it impacted her decision to withdraw from the race or not, but I’m sure it didn’t help,” he told BuzzFeed News.

Castro in the December interview also expressed frustration with the Democratic National Committee's thresholds to qualify for the primary debates, after he missed the final debates of the year. Some candidates, he said, were able to "potentially buy their way" onto a debate stage that had come to lack in diversity.

Castro had his moments in the primary, particularly in pushing progressive immigration policy, like the idea of decriminalizing crossing into the US without documents. He was the first candidate to introduce an immigration plan and other progressive policies including a police reform plan. And his willingness to take on opponents during debates — particularly Beto O'Rourke and Joe Biden — got him notice. But that did not prove to be enough to push him outside the low single digits of polling.



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