Raul A. Reyes is an lawyer and a member of the USA In the present day board of contributors. Comply with him on Twitter . The opinions expressed on this commentary are solely these of the writer. View on CNN.
(CNN)One other Democratic presidential hopeful has exited the 2020 race. On Thursday, Julián Castro introduced by way of a video message that he was suspending his marketing campaign.
“I’ve decided that it merely is not our time,” he stated, including that he was dropping out with “a heavy coronary heart, and profound gratitude.” Whereas he didn’t go into specifics about his future plans, the previous secretary of Housing and City Improvement said that he was not achieved preventing. “I am going to hold working in the direction of a nation the place everybody counts, a nation the place everybody can get an excellent job, good well being care and an honest place to reside.”
Whereas Castro’s announcement was not sudden, it was disappointing. He was in some respects, together with his inclusive message, the . He introduced an necessary perspective to the debates. And he confirmed that a certified Latino — particularly, a 3rd-era Mexican-American — might compete on the highest degree of politics. Coming quickly after Kamala Harris dropped out, Castro’s choice additional reduces the a lot-wanted variety of the Democratic subject. That is a loss to the Democratic Social gathering in addition to to Latinos and all People.
In principle, Castro appeared like a really perfect candidate — and maybe would have been, in a unique election cycle. Apart from his Hispanic roots — vitally essential at a time the place Latinos are the nation’s largest group of nonwhite voters — he holds Ivy League levels and was the previous mayor of San Antonio. He served within the Obama Cupboard. He was telegenic, and unafraid to boost difficult questions on the nationwide stage. Within the June debate, for instance, he got here out in help of as a approach of making certain that household separations by no means occurred once more.
However Castro was not a single-problem candidate targeted on immigration. To his nice credit score, he persistently spoke up for the rights of marginalized communities, from the homeless to transgender individuals. He reminded viewers that “Police violence can also be gun violence,” earlier than mentioning the names of African American and Latino victims of police shootings. He was an necessary voice for the considerations of communities of colour at a time when focused by bigoted rhetoric and violence.
All through his marketing campaign Castro was an underdog. Regardless of his credentials and expertise, he by no means acquired the adulatory press protection of Beto O’Rourke or Pete Buttigieg. In contrast to Joe Biden, he appeared to get little credit score for his tenure within the Obama administration. Although he favored a single-payer well being care plan (like Bernie Sanders) and (like Elizabeth Warren), he was typically missed by the mainstream media on points in addition to immigration, particularly people who sometimes attraction to progressive voters. When Castro did benefit protection, journalists typically targeted on the that he spoke much less-than-fluent Spanish.
Nonetheless, Castro confirmed America that a progressive Latino can compete on the highest degree of politics and maintain his personal. For Latinos, he was dwelling proof that a Hispanic deserved constructive nationwide consideration. And in contrast to former presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Castro was — like nearly all of US Latinos — Mexican American, and really pleased with his humble origins.
It should have been immensely irritating for Castro and his supporters that he was by no means capable of break into the highest tier of Democratic candidates; he not often registered in nationwide polls. This can be due to the character of our political course of, which is pushed by cash and media protection. Think about that Castro and Harris are out of the race whereas Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are nonetheless in. It stays a undeniable fact that with out cash and protection, it’s arduous to interrupt by means of within the polls, regardless of how robust your floor recreation or grass-roots help. As well as, Castro himselfof in accordance states like Iowa and New Hampshire such disproportionate affect within the nominating course of, as they’re hardly consultant of the nationwide citizens.
“The media’s flawed method for ‘electability’ has pushed apart ladies and candidates of shade,” Castro stated on Twitter when Kamala Harris left the 2020 race in December. “Our celebration’s variety is our power.”
He was right, and those self same phrases may be utilized to his run on the nomination. If voters weren’t able to embrace Castro, there isn’t a doubt that he was prepared and certified to steer — and that he will probably be missed.