Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro ended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination Thursday after failing to garner the support necessary to remain competitive in the race.
“It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today,” Castro said in a statement on Twitter “I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts – I hope you’ll join me in that fight.”
It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today.
I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts—I hope you’ll join me in that fight. pic.twitter.com/jXQLJa3AdC
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 2, 2020
Castro, 45, was the only Latino candidate in the race and marked his candidacy by carving out immigration as a signature issue. Early in the campaign, Castro further radicalized an already left-wing field by endorsing the decriminalization of border crossings prompting the other candidates in the race to do the same last summer. The lurch to the left on the issue prompted criticism from several prominent Democrats, including former Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson who condemned the idea “ tantamount to declaring publicly that we have open borders.”
Castro also spent five years as mayor of San Antonio before jumping into the presidential race and participated in the primary’s first four debates last year. Castro’s campaign however, failed to keep pace with the rising threshold of support required to qualify for subsequent debates and struggled to raise enough funds to mount a competitive challenge.
Castro’s exit brings the number of candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination down to 14 with just a month before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses. As the race currently stands in the national polls according to Real Clear Politics, former Vice President Joe Biden remains the field’s frontrunner with more than 28 percent support followed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at just more than 19 percent and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren at 15. No other candidate holds double-digit support.
In Iowa however, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the one to beat, leading the field with 22 percent support to Sanders’ 20, Biden’s nearly 19 percent and Warren’s 16 percent in the Real Clear aggregate.
In following New Hampshire, Sanders leads with 19 percent trailed by Buttigieg at nearly 18 percent and Biden at just more than 14 percent. Warren comes in fourth at more than 13 percent.
Castro’s support had been dismal in national polls and the early contest states.