Castro to headline forum in New Hampshire after announcing 2020 decision

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will make a trip to New Hampshire next week, days after he's expected to announce a firm decision on a 2020 presidential bid.

Castro is slated to headline the New Hampshire Institute of Politics' "Politics and Eggs" forum on Jan. 16 in Manchester. Past speakers at the event include former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderEric Holder: 'We're really at the beginning' of questions about Trump obstructing justice What should Democrats do next, after Mueller's report? GOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight MORE, former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-Ariz.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

The forum is jointly hosted with the New England Council, a regional business association. 

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The planned appearance in the Granite State is the latest sign that Castro plans to enter the Democratic Party's 2020 nominating contest.

He formed a committee last month to explore a potential presidential bid and is scheduled to announce his decision on Saturday in his hometown of San Antonio, where he was mayor from 2009 to 2014. 

New Hampshire is considered a crucial early stop for any prospective White House contender because it is the first state to hold its presidential primary.

Castro is likely to see a crowded primary field in 2020. So far, some three dozen Democrats are said to be weighing presidential runs, including political giants like former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenHere's why Biden, Bernie and Beto are peaking The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Dems look for traction following Barr-Mueller findings Buttigieg shows signs of emerging from the Democratic pack MORE.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenElizabeth Warren after TMZ catches her sprinting to catch train: 'Try and keep up' Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote Senate GOP proposes constitutional amendment to keep Supreme Court at 9 seats MORE (D-Mass.) became the first major candidate to jump into the Democratic nominating contest last week, when she filed paperwork to form an exploratory committee. That was followed over the weekend by a five-stop trip to Iowa.

A handful of other Democrats are expected to announce possible White House runs in the coming weeks.