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 HolderObama celebrates 'great night for our country' after Democrats' victories in Virginia and Kentucky After Obama-era abuses, Republican hysteria over impeachment process is absurd Lawmakers come together to honor Cummings: 'One of the greats in our country's history' MORE, former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing 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 BidenDemocrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report Giuliani pens op-ed slamming 'unprecedented' impeachment inquiry MORE.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDemocrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Overnight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Krystal Ball credits Gabbard's upswing in 2020 race to 'feckless' Democratic establishment 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.