Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro said he believes the 2018 election cycle will bring a “turnover” including the United States Senate seat for Texas, currently held by Republican Ted Cruz. Castro also hinted at a possible run for the White House, but said he had not made up his mind.
In a rare appearance together, Castro joined his brother, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, and their mother, Rosie Castro, for a panel discussion about education, political activism, and family.
The former Obama appointee said he recently visited New Hampshire, the second state to host its primary election, where he met with young progressives.
“I had a great time over there,” he told reporters after the event. He said with both 2018 and 2020 he sees “an appetite for a lot of change,” and “folks are looking for the next generation of leaders.”
Castro said he and his newly-launched Political Action Committee had already thrown support behind two Texas candidates for U.S. House, and planned to help fund campaigns for younger Democrats.
“As we get into summer and fall, we’ll be supporting a lot more candidates both in Texas and across the country,” Castro added.
“That’s how I’m going to spend my time between now and November,” he said during the panel, saying that he would make a decision about running for president in 2020 “by the end of the year.”
When asked afterward if he planned to return to New Hampshire, he said he expected to go back “at some point.”
“I don’t have anything on the schedule right now,” Castro mentioned. “But I would imagine that I would be back at some point before November.”
Formerly the mayor of San Antonio, Castro said he believed a lack of action by lawmakers in response to recent shootings across the country is partially responsible for a change in political tide.
“Ninety percent, or more than that want universal background checks, but this Congress still has not implemented universal background checks,” Castro said, saying that a certain “tone deafness” is growing in our nation’s capital.
“I believe that in the 2018 cycle, we’re gonna see a turning over of the House of Representatives, and probably a turning over of the Senate seat here in Texas,” Castro said.
“I think that Ted Cruz is gonna lose his Senate seat,” he added. His brother Joaquin said he felt “good” about flipping seats in the U.S. House, and he was “feeling better about the Senate.”
“I think Democrats will take back the House of Representatives in 2018,” Rep. Castro said.
Sen. Cruz’s campaign spokesperson declined to comment on the Castro brothers’ claims when contacted after the event.