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Staunch LGBT+ ally Julián Castro announces his exit from race to be next US president

Vic Parsons January 3, 2020
Julian Castro

Julián Castro has exited the race to be the next US president. (Screenshot from video announcing his end of run)

Julian Castro, the only Latino in the presidential race and a longtime LGBT+ ally, has announced he’s ending his run for the Democratic nomination.

The former housing secretary and mayor of San Antonio, Texas, said on January 2 that he was ending his campaign to become the next president of the US.

In a video message, Castro – who announced his presidential bid almost one year ago – said “it simply isn’t our time”.

“Today it’s with a heavy heart and profound gratitude that I will suspend my campaign for president,” he said.

“I’m not done fighting,” Castro, 45, added, though he gave no indication of his immediate plans. “I’ll keep working towards a nation where everyone counts, a nation where everyone can get a good job, good health care and a decent place to live.”

The four-minute video included a montage of pictures and clips from his time on the campaign trail, including his October 2019 trip to the US-Mexico border when he escorted a group of LGBT+ asylum seekers into the US.

During his time as mayor of San Antonio, Castro advocated for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to San Antonio’s anti-discrimination laws, which the city did in 2013.

Julian Castro was also the first mayor to be grand marshal of San Antonio’s LGBT+ Pride parade.

During the first Democratic debate last year, Castro defended equal abortion access for transgender Americans, although he initially – and confusingly – said this should include trans women. His team later clarified that he meant abortion access should be freely available for trans men and non-binary people.

Elizabeth Warren, speaking to reporters after a campaign event, praised Castro as “a firm, clear, moral voice in the primary” and said she was “very sorry” he was leaving the race, according to the New York Times.

“He raised issues like the importance of universal child care and pushed them forward in debates when other candidates were ignoring them,” she said.

“I know he has an important voice in American politics and that we’re going to hear a lot more from him in 2020 and in years to come.”

More: 2020 democratic nomination, democratic race, Elizabeth Warren, Julián Castro

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