Julian Castro stormed the public consciousness after his well-received keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention and now a Texas county commissioner is trying to capture lightning in a Texas-sized bottle, with an effort to draft him to run for governor in 2014.
“This was our (party) initiative, 100 percent, because we believe he’s the future of the state,” said Medina, according to San Antonio Express News.
Medina said his introduction of the draft campaign was greeted with “thunderous applause” by committee members. Dante Small, a committee member and president of the Bexar County Young Democrats, said Democrats are excited at the mere suggestion of a Castro gubernatorial campaign. “Having him run for governor would galvanize Democrats and Latino voters in this state,” he said.
According to the Mayor’s office, he “is focused very much on this election, on passing Pre-K 4 SA,” said Christian Archer, the mayor’s campaign manager, of Castro’s initiative to raise revenue for full-day pre-kindergarten education for four-year-olds in San Antonio. “We have talked about the (mayoral) re-election campaign, which is coming up in May, but there’s been no talk of running for governor.”
Castro’s education plan would raise money through a 1/8-cent sales tax, along with other state and federal money. The initiative is meant to counterbalance major state-level cuts to education.
Political scientist and assistant professor at Northern Arizona University, Stephen Nuño, says there are opportunities but also pitfalls for Castro in pursuing a gubernatorial run.
“The Democrats have a group of rising stars like Castro who has the talent to compete against anyone the GOP throws at him,” he says. “But the Republicans are the ones who have done best at promoting talent to the top by being selective about finding Latinos who can have crossover appeal. Given the politics of Texas, I think we are more likely to see a Republican Latino governor before we see a Democrat Latino.”
Nuño says if the parties make recruiting Latinos a priority, politics in Texas and across the nation may see an infusion of new blood. “It’s really up to the parties themselves to institutionalize Latinos into leadership roles,” he adds.
“It is not an overstatement to say that the winner of this contest in the near future to win over Latinos has the potential to determine who our president is into the next two generations.”