World

Democrat Julian Castro launches 2020 US presidential bid

WASHINGTON Texas Democrat Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor, formally announced his White House bid on Saturday, making him the first Hispanic in what looks to be a crowded field of candidates vying to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Mr Castro, 44, the grandson of a Mexican immigrant who would be the first Hispanic elected president, served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former president Barack Obama.

"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 US 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," Mr Castro said in a statement announcing his campaign.

One of Mr Castro's first stops as a candidate will take place today in Puerto Rico.

He made his announcement at Plaza Guadalupe, a landmark in San Antonio's sprawling west side Mexican American barrio, a neighbourhood of neat, brightly painted wood framed homes.

Mr Castro, whose grandmother was born in Mexico, has sought to use his family's personal story to criticise Mr Trump's border policies.

Mr Castro is the second candidate to formally launch a campaign. Former US Representative John Delaney has been running for more than a year, and US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has formed an exploratory committee and has begun holding campaign events in Iowa and New Hampshire, the states with the earliest contests.

- REUTERS

WORLD