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 HolderWilliam Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Protecting voices of all voters is critical to free and fair elections Castro to headline forum in New Hampshire after announcing 2020 decision MORE, former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSchumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least 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 BidenLosing the fight against corruption and narco-trafficking in Guatemala Group aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Why Joe Biden (or any moderate) cannot be nominated MORE.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction Group aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Day 27 of the shutdown | Cohen reportedly paid company to rig online polls, boost his own image | Atlantic publishes ‘Impeach Donald Trump’ cover story 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.