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 ClintonImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Former Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad' Seth Rich's brother calls for those pushing conspiracy to 'take responsibility' 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 KingThe Hill's Morning Report — Combative Trump aims at Pelosi before Russia report Steve King's campaign spent more than it raised last quarter It's time for a 'Congressional Jewish Caucus' MORE (R-Iowa) for his seat, and Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeSanders announces first endorsements in South Carolina On The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump MORE (D-Texas), who is battling to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMichael Bennet declared cancer-free, paving way for possible 2020 run Booker, Harris have missed most Senate votes O'Rourke sweeps through Virginia looking to energize campaign 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.