HUD Secretary Julián Castro, whose name has been bantered for months as a possible vice presidential candidate, plans to announce his endorsement for former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on Thursday, according to multiple media sources.
Castro, 41, has been HUD Secretary since July 2014. Prior to becoming the country’s top housing official, Castro served as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014. His twin brother, Joaquin, a Democratic U.S. Senator from Texas, has already endorsed Clinton and done some campaigning for her.
Clinton is hopeful that the endorsement from Julián Castro will aid her in the attempt to win the Hispanic vote for the 2016 presidential election as the race with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination tightens, according to reports. Clinton has a history of popularity with Hispanic voters. In the 2008 Democratic Primaries, Hispanic voters chose Clinton over then-Senator Barack Obama by a 2 to 1 margin, according to CNN. The news station reported that the announcement of Castro's endorsement will come at a grassroots event in Texas called Latinos for Hillary.
Castro had dinner with former President Bill Clinton in August 2014, which is seen by many as the point that began speculation about Castro becoming Hillary’s running mate, according to the Washington Post. Castro has always deflected conjecture that he would be on the ticket for VP in 2016.
In reaction to the news that Castro was endorsing Clinton for president, the GOP was critical of both Clinton and Castro.
"Hillary Clinton and Julián Castro have one thing in common: no one has any idea what they've accomplished," Republican National Convention Spokeswoman Ruth Guerra said in a statement. "This endorsement will do nothing to save Hillary's flailing campaign in the midst of plummeting poll numbers and an FBI investigation into the mishandling of classified information on her secret email server."
Castro defended Clinton when asked by CNN about the email controversy, stating the information was not classified at the time she handled it and that it did not become classified until after the fact.
Castro’s pending announcement of his endorsement of Clinton for president was first announced by Buzzfeed, according to CNN.