Julián Castro ended his presidential campaign on Thursday. The only Latino in the Democratic race said he was stepping down because of his inability to gain traction among the crowded race.
The former Housing and Urban Development secretary announced the news in a video he posted on Twitter.
“I’m so proud of the campaign we’ve run together. We’ve shaped the conversation on so many important issues in this races, stood up for the most vulnerable people and given a voice to those who are often forgotten,” Castro said. “But 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’s with a heavy heart and with profound gratitude that I will suspend my campaign for president.”
Castro, who hinted that he would run for president during an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in December 2018, ran a progressive campaign, garnering praise for his proposals on immigration, policing, gun violence and housing.
Among those raving about the former San Antonio mayor was fellow Democratic candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who in June joined Castro on his calls to decriminalize migration and congratulated him for a successful performance at a debate in Miami that same month.
Later in his campaign, Castro failed to qualify for pivotal debates in November and December. The candidate struggled to raise money, warning in October that if his campaign couldn’t garner $800,000 in 10 days he would have to suspend his bid for president. Despite raising more than his goal — with helpful boosts from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who tweeted that Castro brought “a powerful presence” to the race, as well as Puerto Rican actress Justina Machado, who held a conference call with supporters — Castro was still unable to stand out in the polls, finding himself in the single digits.
The Mexican-American politician, however, continued to earn media attention by helping queer and disabled asylum-seekers cross the border, discussing criminal justice reform with inmates at a Washington, DC jail and speaking with people on Skid Row about his housing plan, among other campaign efforts.
Castro was the only Latino candidate in the race and he centered communities of color throughout his campaign, including when he officially threw his hat into the ring at a San Antonio rally last January.
“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,” he said during his campaign launch.