2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro speaks during the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding fundraising dinner on Aug. 9, 2019, in Clear Lake, Iowa. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro speaks during the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding fundraising dinner on Aug. 9, 2019, in Clear Lake, Iowa. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

Julián Castro quits the 2020 presidential race

Julian Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and Obama Cabinet member, ended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday.

The sole Latino in the race, Castro, 45, was a youthful presence in a contest led by a trio of septuagenarians. But lackluster fundraising and low poll ratings left him little choice but to abandon what was an uphill run from the start.

“It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today,” Castro tweeted. “I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts _ I hope you’ll join me in that fight.”

For months, Castro tried to stand out in the crowded field by striking an aggressive posture toward rivals. In a June debate, he scolded fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke for opposing decriminalization of unauthorized U.S. border crossings. “I think that you should do your homework on this issue,” he snapped.

Castro turned his fire on Joe Biden over the same issue at a debate in July. “What we need are politicians that actually have guts on this issue,” he told the former vice president.

Most memorably, at a debate in August, Castro bungled an attack on Biden over health care. He questioned his opponent’s memory, suggesting incorrectly that Biden, then 76, was contradicting himself.

“Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” Castro asked, drawing a roar of groans from the audience and a cascade of criticism from Democrats far and wide.

Castro emerged as a national political figure in 2012, when he was President Barack Obama’s keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention. Obama later named Castro as secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Castro was one of the few Democrats in the presidential race to highlight plans to reverse the nation’s surge in homelessness. He toured a homeless encampment in tunnels beneath the Las Vegas Strip and called for a sharp rise in federal spending on housing for Americans living on the street or struggling to pay rent.

Castro, whose grandmother migrated to the U.S. from Mexico, was depending on winning overwhelming Latino support as the foundation of his campaign. He’d hoped to win big troves of party delegates in states with large Latino populations: Nevada, California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Florida.

Had he won the nomination, Castro would have struck a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump, whose political career was fueled by anti-immigrant rhetoric. One of Castro’s favorite riffs on the stump was to tell crowds how he would greet the outgoing president at the White House after his inauguration in 2021: “Adios.”

—By Michael Finnegan

Los Angeles Times

National News

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read