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Julián Castro. Photo: Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images.

Editor's Note: Castro dropped out of contention for the Democratic presidential nomination on Jan. 2, 2020. Below is our original article on his candidacy.

Julián Castro, the first Texas Democrat to run for president since 1976, is a former San Antonio mayor and the youngest cabinet secretary in the Obama administration. Castro was among those considered to be Hillary Clinton's vice president in 2016 and, while he didn't get the spot, made frequent appearances with Clinton during the election.

Key facts about Julián Castro:
  • Current position: n/a
  • Age: 44
  • Born: San Antonio
  • Undergraduate: Stanford University
  • Date candidacy announced: Jan. 12, 2019
  • Previous roles: Obama's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Mayor of San Antonio, member of San Antonio City Council
Julián Castro's stance on key issues:
  • Housing: Launched a plan in June to create more affordable housing and end homelessness.
  • Medicare for All: Supports it. Says the U.S. should "be the healthiest nation," per the Hill.
  • Education: Released a plan that would create a universal pre-K program and create tuition-free public colleges, community colleges, technical and vocational programs. Pre-K would be funded by a grant program to state and local governments.
  • Economic inequality: Proposed an "inherited wealth" tax in August that would "raise the capital gains rate to match the marginal income tax rate for the wealthy." The plan includes giving a $3,000 earned income tax credit to families "per child for every family of modest means."
    • Would raise the capital gains rate to 40% for people who earn $400,000+ a year.
  • Immigration: Would reverse Trump policies such as the Muslim ban, spending on a southern border wall and cuts to refugee programs in his extensive immigration policy.
    • Proposed a 21st Century Marshall Plan for Central America to focus on stabilizing the countries with the largest number of migrants coming to the U.S.
    • Wants to split ICE in half to keep "national security functions such as human and drug trafficking and anti-terrorism investigations within the Department of Homeland Security."
    • Plans to overhaul the pathway to citizenship for immigrants, especially for DACA recipients.
  • Abortion: "I believe in a woman's right to choose, it is an issue of reproductive freedom and justice," he said in April.
  • Law enforcement: Proposed a police reform plan to limit deadly force, end stop-and-frisk and demilitarize police.
  • Indigenous peoples: Wants a White House Council on Indigenous Communities and advisory committees for Cabinet-level agencies.
  • Animal welfare: Would seek to strengthen the Endangered Species Act, which has been weakened by the Trump administration.
  • Climate change: Focuses on environmental racism. To stop extraction of fossil fuels on public lands and end all taxpayer subsidies of fossil fuel production. Achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.
Key criticism:
  • As HUD secretary, Castro faced criticism from a group of progressives — many of whom supported then-2016 candidate Bernie Sanders — over his handling of mortgage sales, Politico reported at the time.
1 fun thing about Julián Castro:
  • He is 1 minute older than his identical twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex).

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the other 2020 candidates

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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