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It’s official: Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro announces presidential bid

Becomes second Democratic candidate to announce

In a not-so-surprising announcement Saturday, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro announced he is adding his name to what could be a long list of Democrats running for president in 2020.

Castro had previously announced his interest in running for president and formed an exploratory committee back in December. The candidate made no secret of his plans, saying he would have a big announcement on January 12, 2019.

“When my grandmother got here almost a hundred years ago, I’m sure that 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,” Castro said Saturday from his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, where he previously served as mayor.

Castro was viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party when the Obama administration chose him in June 2014 to replace outgoing HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who went on to serve as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Castro was rumored to be on the short list to serve as a potential nominee for vice president under former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, but the position eventually went to Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia.

While at HUD, Castro somewhat toned down the political rhetoric, although he did run afoul of federal election laws for discussing Clinton during a 2016 interview.

But since leaving the government, Castro has been outspoken about his issues with the Trump administration. And that would only be amped up if and when Castro makes things official.

Castro is the second candidate to formally announce his bid, but many more will follow.

Rep. John Delaney, D-Maryland, was the first to throw his hat in the ring, announcing July 2017 that he is running for president in 2020.

And Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, announced back in December that she is forming a committee to explore a run for president in 2020, a move considered to be a significant step towards to officially running. She even followed the announcement with a campaign trips to Iowa and other states as she plans to make her official announcement.

Other key Democrats such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders D-Vermont, are also expected to announce a bid.

And Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, also announced Saturday she has decided to run for president and will make an official announcement soon.

“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” Gabbard told CNN’s Van Jones during an interview.

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