Julian Castro Talks About Democrats in 2018, His Own Political Future

Castro is a big name in Texas politics and national political circles as well

Julian Castro, the popular former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, is a familiar name in Texas politics.

He is half of the Castro brothers — his brother, Joaquin, is a Texas congressman — and he considered running for governor and senator in Texas.

Castro has been viewed as a rising star in the Democratic party and was on the short list for Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 presidential election.

He was in Dallas this week and spoke with NBC 5 political reporter Julie Fine about the Democrats' prospects in the 2018 mid-term elections and his own political future as he mulls a bid for president.

Castro now teaches at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and is looking for candidates to help swing the balance of power in the House of Representatives back to the Democratic Party.

"I am going to be very involved this fall. I launched a PAC called 'Opportunity First.' What we are going to do is go find great young candidates — people that have great ideas, that have integrity, people that are energetic — especially candidates running in one of the 24 districts that we need to flip to take back the House for the Democrats," Castro said.

It's a tall order, but Castro is focused on what he hopes is a brighter future for Democrats.

"I believe the Democrats, if things continue the way they are going, will take back the House," he said.

Asked who he thinks is the leader of the Democratic Party right now, Castro said, "Well, I would ask who is the leader of the Republican Party? The Republican Party is super divided. You have a president who is out of step with the Senate majority leader, speaker of the House. As Democrats, I think what is driving us, what has always driven us, is expanding opportunity."

"I disagree with the idea that the Democrats don't know what they stand for," he continued. "We stand for expanding opportunity for everyone."

Castro is also thinking about his own future. Will he run for president in 2020?

"I have said that I am going to keep that on the table, that I am going to consider it. But first I am going to help a whole bunch of folks get elected in 2018 and represent a new voice for the country," Castro said.

Though he is considering a run, he acknowledges that a lot of candidates are likely.

"I think a lot of people are going to consider it. It is going to be a crowded primary, probably unlike a primary we have seen in a few cycles," he said.

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