NBC

1-on-1 With Presidential Candidate, Former Secretary Julian Castro

Former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro was in North Texas Saturday, attending a Get Out the Vote rally in Fort Worth.

"This is a critical state. This is my home state. We vote relatively early, on Super Tuesday, March 3 of next year, and I feel good about my ability to win this state," said Castro, who is also a former mayor of San Antonio.

Castro has announced that he met fundraising and polling qualifications to take part in the first Democratic debate, which is in Miami in June.

"The DNC set these threshold requirements. One of them was $65,000 unique donors across the country, and we made it. And I have also made the polling requirement, so I am just about guaranteed to have a slot in the debate in June," he said.

While it appears he has qualified for the debate, Castro is not in the top tier of candidates when it comes to the polls.

"What I see is that I am steadily getting stronger and stronger. The people that are showing up to my events, they are getting bigger and bigger crowd sizes. My fundraising has accelerated in the second quarter. The amount of interest out there in the media is starting to pick up, I've just been doing a lot more media, so I feel like the campaign is slowly, steadily gaining strength. I don't need to be the front-runner right now, in May of 2019. I want to peak at the right time in February 2020 when the first votes are cast in Iowa," Castro said.

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