Julián Castro is a Hispanic politician who is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. He serves as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, and is described by many in his party as having the potential to become the first Hispanic president of the United States.
Castro has been described as the "Latino Obama," a reference to President Barack Obama, the first African-American president.
Castro was first elected mayor of San Antonio in 2009, at the age of 34. He got 56 percent of the vote that year. He won re-election in 2011 after getting 82 percent of the vote. He is the fifth Hispanic mayor of that city.
Prior to serving as San Antonio mayor, Castro was elected to the city council in 2001. He lost his first run for mayor, in 2005.
He serves as a co-chairman of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.
On the Issues
Castro supports abortion rights and opposed to strict immigration laws such as the one passed by Arizona's legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010.
"Texas has long been an example of how two neighboring countries can co-exist in a mutually beneficial way for the American economy," a spokesman for Castro said after Arizona passed its immigration law. "A law like Arizona’s would fly in the face of that history."
Castro is a native of San Antonio and is married to Erica Lira Castro. The couple has has one child, a daughter named Carina Victoria Castro. She was born in March of 2009.
Castro has a twin brother, Joaquin, who serves as a state representative in the Texas legislature and is running for a seat in Congress.
He is the son of Rosie Castro, who served as a leader of the La Raza Unida movement, which sought to defend the civil rights of Mexican-Americans in Texas in the 1970s. Organizers of the group believed the effort would help boost the Chicano movement in Texas and become more influential in politics.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Mrs. Castro said she used to take her boys to the election polls so they could see her vote. "They would sometimes come help deliver a sign at one of these houses. In my generation, we were not at the public policy table. You had to insert yourself into the political realities. You had to go to city hall and demand things," she told the network.
Castro is Roman Catholic.
Castro is a 1996 graduate of Stanford University, where he majored in political science and communications, and a 2000 graduate of Harvard Law School.
Role in Election 2012
Castro was chosen to be the keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He was the first Hispanic picked for the role in the party's history. Castro was expected to help Obama win a larger portion of the Hispanic vote in his race against Republican Mitt Romney in Election 2012.
Castro's selection as keynote speaker was announced by the 2012 convention committee and Obama's re-election campaign.
He is a staunch supporter of Obama, whose own speech at the party's convention in 2004 launched him to political fame.
"I remember watching his speech in 2004 and being inspired. When Obama talked about the audacity of hope, I thought back to my mother saying if you didn’t like the way things were, you could dare to change them. I thought, my mother would like this guy," Castro said in a video announcing his role at the 2012 convention.
Relationship with Obama
Castro first met Obama at a December 2009 economic forum at the White House. He was among five mayors at the meeting, and the youngest.
According to a profile of Castro in The New York Times, Obama joked with him about his age, saying: "I thought he was an intern. This guy’s a mayor?"