Julián Castro says he’s 'likely' to run in 2020

Julián Castro says he’s 'likely' to run in 2020
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Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro says he will "likely" run for president in 2020, his strongest indication yet since he first floated a possible bid earlier this year. 

Castro, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, added that he will make a "final decision" after November's midterm elections.

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"I’m likely to do it," the former Democratic mayor of San Antonio told the magazine. "I have a strong vision for the country. I believe that our country’s going in the wrong direction and that it needs new leadership."

"I’ll make a final decision after November, but I’m inclined to do it," he added.

Castro, who led the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama administration, has made similar comments multiple times before

He first rose to prominence as a rising star of the Democratic Party when he became the first Latino to give the keynote address at the party's national convention. He was floated as a possible running mate for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders campaign reports raising M in less than a day The Memo: Bernie Sanders’s WH launch sharpens ‘socialist’ question Roger Stone invokes gag order in new fundraiser MORE in 2016.

When Rolling Stone pressed him over Clinton's loss and what it means for his prospects, Castro said it was "always going to be hard to keep the presidency for a third term in the same party."

"I think a number of people who were a part of the campaign are very proud that she won the popular vote by nearly three million votes and, at the same time, if it could be done over, would acknowledge more focus in certain states," he said. 

Castro has spent the past several months stumping for Democrats such as J.D. Scholten, who is challenging Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingSteve King asks for Congressional Record correction over white supremacist quote Steve King urges supporters to pray for his committee assignments to be restored: report Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency MORE (R-Iowa) for his seat, and Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeO'Rourke mulling another Senate run as well as presidential bid The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report MORE (D-Texas), who is battling to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke mulling another Senate run as well as presidential bid Texas senator introduces bill to produce coin honoring Bushes Trump working on labels for 2020 Dems: report MORE (R-Texas). 

Castro also aligned himself with Democratic gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum (Fla.) and Stacey Abrams (Ga.), as well as congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), saying all three candidates "weave ... together" issues of class and race. The three candidates also have garnered significant attention from progressive Democrats.  

"We have candidates who recognize that often times folks who are grappling with lack of job opportunity in their community are also grappling with fear of being brutalized by law enforcement," he said after noting all three by name.

If Castro announces a bid, he likely will join a crowded field of Democratic contenders.