Texas Democrat Julian Castro launches 2020 campaign

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A lawyer by trade, Castro, 44, caught the eye of former President Barack Obama and others during his tenure as San Antonio mayor.

Castro was elected San Antonio's mayor in 2009 and re-elected to two more terms before Obama tapped him to be secretary of HUD, the federal agency that oversees public housing, which Castro lived in during his youth. He announced his official entry in the race during an event in a Spanish-style plaza less than 200 miles from the U.S. -Mexico border.

Two days after the president visited the border to promote his promised wall, Castro mocked Trump for claiming that the US faces an "invasion" from its ally to the south. The impasse over a border wall that Trump made a central promise of his 2016 campaign has led to the longest government shutdown in USA history.

Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, had been considering a bid for almost two years and announced a presidential exploratory committee in December. He also said that he disagrees with the administration's goal of detaining families together as they seek asylum or refugee status, saying that other approaches such as using ankle monitors are more humane and can be effective to track people who enter the US and are awaiting court proceedings.

Tim Kaine was eventually selected to be Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 presidential race, and the Republicans won.

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"As the former mayor of the fifth-largest city in the country and cabinet secretary, there is no doubt in my mind that Secretary Castro has the right temperament and experience to be president of the United States", Allred said.

Castro, a fierce Trump critic, is a third generation American. Yeah, we have to have border security, but there is a smart and humane way to do it. And there is no way in hell that caging babies is a smart or a good or a right way to do it.

His identical twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, has represented their native San Antonio in Congress since 2013.

"We say no to building a wall and say yes to building community", he added, to roars from the crowd. John Delaney, a former congressman from Maryland, launched his presidential bid in 2017, and Sen. That field could include U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, Texas, who rose to national fame in a failed bid for the U.S. Senate and is scheduled next month for an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Since 2012, potential candidates like Sens. Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA launched an exploratory committee on December 31.

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"When my grandmother got here nearly 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 at the rally.

Castro comes from a family of politicians and activist.

Even some supporters at Castro's announcement could be torn if O'Rourke gets in the race.

"If I decide to run, it would be because I believe I have a compelling message and I'm going to work hard and get to the voters and I believe I can be successful", Castro told the AP.

Castro and his team have signaled in the lead up to Saturday's announcement that he will lean into his Mexican-American heritage in a presidential run.

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But he had a good session with his swing coach in Dallas, and it paid off two weeks later on the Gulf side of the Mexican coast. He posted a 14-under 126 halfway total, one stroke better than fellow American Andrew Putnam, who shot a bogey-free 65.

Laying out other key components of his campaign platform, Castro noted his support for Medicare for All and his rejection of corporate political action committee (PAC) money as well as his dedication to taking action to address the global climate crisis.