Posted on January 2, 2020

Julian Castro Ends White House campaign

BBC, January 2, 2020

Democratic presidential hopeful Julian Castro has announced he is ending his campaign for the White House.

The former Obama housing secretary, who was the only Latino in the race, said in a tweet: “I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time.”

“I’m not done fighting,” the 45-year-old added. His exit leaves 14 Democrats campaigning for this year’s presidential election.

The White House race begins in earnest next month with the Iowa caucuses.

The remaining Democrats will battle it out in a series of state-by-state votes nationwide before the eventual winner is crowned at the party convention in July. He or she is expected to face President Donald Trump, a Republican, in November’s presidential election.

Mr Castro ran as a proud and passionate liberal, advocating for the decriminalisation of border crossings by undocumented migrants into the United States.

In September, he was accused of making an ageist insult against Democratic front-runner Joe Biden during a televised debate in Texas when he accused the 77-year-old former US vice-president of being forgetful.

Mr Castro’s exit comes on the day that leading Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders’ campaign announced it had raised $34.5m (£26.2m) since he suffered a heart attack in October.

The haul surpasses Mr Sanders’ previous quarterly totals and was the highest of any Democrat in this election cycle.

But the Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist’s war chest was eclipsed by Mr Trump, whose campaign said it drew in $46m, smashing its previous 2020 fundraising record.

In addition to the latest totals, the Sanders campaign also announced on Thursday that over five million individual people had donated.

His best month was December when 1.8m donations were made with an average amount of $18.53.

Mr Biden and another Democratic front-runner, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, have not yet reported their fundraising totals, which is usually not a promising sign.

But the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, pulled in $24.7m in the last quarter.

Another White House hopeful, Andrew Yang – a quirky entrepreneur who has never held political office – raised an impressive $16.5m in the past three months.