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: 'There are grounds for impeachment' in Mueller report Prosecutor appointed by Barr poised to enter Washington firestorm Dems struggle to make Trump bend on probes MORE, former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSen. Coons examines Amazon's privacy and data security practices for Alexa devices Oil companies join blitz for carbon tax The Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget 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 BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Castro swears off donations from oil, gas, coal executives Meghan McCain on Pelosi-Trump feud: 'Put this crap aside' and 'work together for America' MORE.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Overnight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan 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.