On Thursday, Jan. 2, Julián Castro suspended his bid for the Democratic nomination for president, and people took to social media to express their sadness, if not their surprise. On Thursday morning, Castro shared a video to Twitter thanking his supporters. Whenever a candidate ends their bid, it’s normal for supporters to mourn the loss of their candidate’s presence in the race. When Sen. Kamala Harris announced she was suspending her campaign due to fundraising issues, for example, the #KHive took to Twitter to deeply celebrate what she brought to the race. Julián Castro’s supporters are doing the same, and, like Harris, it’s not just a favorites game. Supporters are mourning a major blow to representation both in the race and on the debate stage, as well as policies that center some of the most disenfranchised and marginalized voices.
The former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Mayor of San Antonio, Castro had some of the most progressive policies in the race. As Daily Kos previously covered, Castro offered plans for combating hunger, a people-first disability policy, called for decriminalizing crossing the border, tried to address police brutality, and more. In interviews and on the debate stage, Castro used trans-inclusive language, including when it came to abortion and reproductive health. Castro also centered homeless populations—some of the most disenfranchised among us—in his outreach. While he was a long-shot favorite of many on the left, Castro struggled to advance in polling.
Now, let’s dig into the nuances of what people are already missing about Castro’s candidacy, as well as their speculations on why some candidates aren’t making it in the race, and whether or not he’ll be a likely VP pick.
First, here is Castro’s tweet and video.
ItÃ¢Â€Â™s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today.IÃ¢Â€Â™m so proud of everything weÃ¢Â€Â™ve accomplished together. IÃ¢Â€Â™m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone countsÃ¢Â€Â”I hope youÃ¢Â€Â™ll join me in that fight. pic.twitter.com/jXQLJa3AdC
Ã¢Â€Â” JuliÃƒÂ¡n Castro (@JulianCastro) January 2, 2020
And now, people celebrating what he was able to accomplish in his run, and why his candidacy was so meaningful to begin with.
JuliÃƒÂ¡n Castro, @MayaRupert and their incredible team set a new standard for how to run a values-driven campaign that amplified the voices of the people who most need to be heard. (Plus, his campaign had one of the best senses of humor in the field.)
Ã¢Â€Â” Amanda Litman (@amandalitman) January 2, 2020
Grateful for Julian CastroÃ¢Â€Â™s candidacy and all he did to make gun violence prevention a priority in his campaign and during the debates. https://t.co/fL8aTCpFxW
Ã¢Â€Â” Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 2, 2020
.@JulianCastro ran a principled and patriotic campaign Ã¢Â€Â” and his strong and smart voice on immigration will be sorely missed. We must continue to speak to the issues and lived experience of brown and black communities in order for us to win in 2020! pic.twitter.com/f3CliJ0gRu
Ã¢Â€Â” Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) January 2, 2020
I’m so sad about this.As a Mexican woman, I’m so proud of you for being a part of history.You made me feel heard & seen.I hope your fellow candidates will take some pointers from your personal insight.I’m still rooting for you, sir.Thank you.Ã‚Â¡Si se puede! Ã¢ÂœÂŠÃ°ÂŸÂÂ½Ã¢ÂÂ¤
Ã¢Â€Â” Ã°ÂÂ”ÂŠÃ°ÂÂ”Â¢Ã°ÂÂ”ÂªÃ¢Â„Â¢Ã°ÂŸÂ’ÂŽÃ°ÂŸÂÂ³Ã¯Â¸ÂÃ¢Â€ÂÃ°ÂŸÂŒÂˆÃ°ÂŸÂ’Â—Ã°ÂŸÂ’ÂœÃ°ÂŸÂ’Â™ (@Lady_Star_Gem) January 2, 2020
Julian Castro ran a meaningful campaign, centered on the most vulnerable.When my team and I were putting together our police reform plank, he had by far one of the most real & substantive proposals on the topic.I appreciated his voice! https://t.co/078rlxUPlt
Ã¢Â€Â” Mckayla Wilkes for Congress (@MeetMckayla) January 2, 2020
It was a privilege to work with @JulianCastro during the Obama Administration, and a true honor to be in this talented field of candidates with him. He led his historic campaign with grace and heart and used his platform to lift the voices of others. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Ã¢Â€Â” Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 2, 2020
.@JulianCastro, thank you. Thank you for centering black & brown folks, immigrants & our LGBTQIA+ communities. For calling police violence gun violence. For saying the names of Black trans women & so much more.Your voice will be missed in this race. https://t.co/abyvm6B4CM
Ã¢Â€Â” Tiffany CabÃƒÂ¡n (@CabanForQueens) January 2, 2020
.Ã¢ÂÂ¦@JulianCastroÃ¢ÂÂ© deserved so much better than what he got, and I do greatly look forward to supporting his work in whatever comes next. This candidacy and those debates needed his voice, and we needed to listen better. https://t.co/Rphksospgl
Ã¢Â€Â” Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi) January 2, 2020
.@JulianCastro and his team, led by @MayaRupert and @natimontelongo, ran a hell of a campaign. JuliÃƒÂ¡n put #PeopleFirst, built policy proposals from the ground up, and led as a proud Latino. Gracias, @JulianCastro, for your lucha. We’ll keep reaching for our dreams. https://t.co/WHJ7BNunnA
Ã¢Â€Â” Lorella Praeli (@lorellapraeli) January 2, 2020
Sec. Castro ran a brilliant and thoughtful campaign.ItÃ¢Â€Â™s incredibly disappointing Ã¢Â€Â” deeply upsetting Ã¢Â€Â” to see the only Latinx candidate exit the race knowing how much his name, ethnicity, and skin color contributed to him not gaining traction.Keeping leading us, hermano. https://t.co/PmfQEl2Z1g
Ã¢Â€Â” michael vazquez Ã°ÂŸÂÂÃ°ÂŸÂŽÂ„ (@mvsebastian) January 2, 2020
Castro was an antiracist champion against policies that free violent cops, that criminalize migrants fleeing violence, that bar women from making their own reproductive decisions, among other things. I will miss his voice.https://t.co/U4HCV4Fi1z
Ã¢Â€Â” Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) January 2, 2020
Castro joins Inslee, I think, as the only 2020 Dems who ended their campaigns with elevated reputations. Castro shook off his image as an amiable lightweight and really moved the ball on immigration/impeachment/housing.
Ã¢Â€Â” Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) January 2, 2020
Many people are using Castro’s departure as an opportunity to talk about race and wealth, and how those factors may play a role in who gets to stay in the race.
Really sad that such a quality candidate was barely ever a blip on the radar while a white male small town mayor was given the royal treatment by the media and Democratic donors. https://t.co/QyJ2d7Xq42
Ã¢Â€Â” chris evans (@notcapnamerica) January 2, 2020
JuliÃƒÂ¡n Castro along with his campaign manager, @MayaRupert, and everyone else on staff, ran a great campaign that was hurt majorly by factors beyond their control. Sad to see him go and sad to see the field become even whiter. https://t.co/4rL5JsHrcA
Ã¢Â€Â” Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick) January 2, 2020
The big mistake Julian Castro made was not being almost 80 and a white dude in office for about a hundred years.
Ã¢Â€Â” Tom Watson (@tomwatson) January 2, 2020
I’m not that upset that JuliÃƒÂ¡n Castro is dropping out, cause it was clear for a long time he’d have to drop out sooner rather than later. I’m just upset that he, much like Kamala, was written out by the white media and never given a chance to begin with.
Ã¢Â€Â” jen mÃƒÂ©ndez (@jenmendez_) January 2, 2020
I hate that Castro is out of this race. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans is Latinx & the only Latinx candidate is now out of the primary before a single vote has been cast. Following the only black woman. Maybe folks should have stepped back from Biden to consider actual policy & vision.
Ã¢Â€Â” Victoria Brownworth Ã°ÂŸÂŽÂ‰Ã°ÂŸÂŽÂ‰Ã°ÂŸÂŽÂ‰#HappyNewYearÃ°ÂŸÂŽÂ‰Ã°ÂŸÂŽÂ‰Ã°ÂŸÂŽÂ‰ (@VABVOX) January 2, 2020
Resist the urge to compare Castro to Williamson or Gabbard. They’re joke candidates. The relevant comparison is Pete Buttigieg – they had similar bios, but Castro was superior to him on just about every metric from actual experience to depth of ideas. But he wasn’t white.
Ã¢Â€Â” Shannon (@TheStagmania) January 2, 2020
Well, CastroÃ¢Â€Â™s out, but at least we still have a couple of billionaires with no ideas around.
Ã¢Â€Â” Kashana (@kashanacauley) January 2, 2020
One of the biggest travesties of this Dem Primary is the fact that Julian Castro never gained traction. His policies are amazing and he covers more issues than anyone else running. That’s another reason why Buttigieg’s rise is infuriating to me. My only explanation is racism.
Ã¢Â€Â” Matt Murphy (@MattMurph24) January 1, 2020
As well as the primary process itself.
The JuliÃƒÂ¡n Castro campaign’s inability to break through has less to do with his ideas/how he ran – it’s more of an indictment of the primary process.The privileging of Iowa and New Hampshire above all else stifles strong voices on immigration justice. https://t.co/EkLy9KzGum
Ã¢Â€Â” Emma Vigeland (@EmmaVigeland) January 2, 2020
Your voice is needed. Please keep speaking out. The process to the nomination seems flawed when it is more about traction purchased by money than by firm platform planks.
Ã¢Â€Â” Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) January 2, 2020
Castro not only championed good, humane policies, but he was not afraid to take a stand on issues other Dems were too afraid to touch (i.e. the Iowa Caucuses). I’m sad to see him go, but let’s keep pressing other candidates on these issues. We’re not done yet. https://t.co/2inpLEiSMK
Ã¢Â€Â” Allison Missal Akright (@amissal) January 2, 2020
People also gave special thanks to his campaign manager, Maya Rupert.
Can we give some props to @MayaRupert? She helmed the Castro campaign and brought a necessary voice and his outlook to this primary.
Ã¢Â€Â” Heather Barmore (@HeatherBarmore) January 2, 2020
ItÃ¢Â€Â™s not enough to just Ã¢Â€ÂœlistenÃ¢Â€Â and Ã¢Â€ÂœtrustÃ¢Â€Â black women. Hire usÃ¢Â€Â” and then listen and trust us when it matters most. Congrats @MayaRupert on being a historic campaign and making the door a bit easier for others to walkthrough after you. https://t.co/6JDmIt08Vl
Ã¢Â€Â” Joyce Kazadi (@JKazadi) January 2, 2020
So much appreciation for the alumni of the Castro campaign and particularly @MayaRupert for breaking ground as a Black woman to running a presidential campaign plus her long run as a true, documented LGBTQ+ ally.
Ã¢Â€Â” Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) January 2, 2020
Even early in the campaign cycle, when Castro was present on the debate stage, many speculated that he might be an excellent pick for vice president. People are still talking about that possibility today:
I’m hopeful that in 2020 I will get to vote for @JulianCastro to be the next Vice President of the United States
Ã¢Â€Â” Matthew Cortland, Esq. (@mattbc) January 2, 2020
On a very basic level, leaving aside his policy proposals which are fantastic, Julian Castro should be an obvious pic for VP for the eventual nominee. Every possible candidate would be improved by choosing him and any ticket is politically better with him.
Ã¢Â€Â” Mx. Amadi (@amaditalks) January 2, 2020
You can check out our Making Progress interview with Castro below.
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