Castro to participate in Fox News town hall

Castro to participate in Fox News town hall
© Greg Nash

Julián Castro's presidential campaign announced Thursday that the former Housing and Urban Development secretary will participate in a Fox News town hall on June 13 in Arizona.

"Secretary Castro is looking forward to the opportunity to share his vision for the future of our country with the FOX News audience in a state that should be critical for Democrats in 2020," Castro's campaign manager Maya Rupert said in a statement.

The event will be held in Phoenix and hosted by Bret Baier of "Special Report" and Martha MacCallum of "The Story."


The town hall will be an opportunity for Castro to reach a new set of voters amid languishing poll numbers. The former San Antonio, Texas, mayor has polled close to 2 percent in most national and state surveys.

Castro will be the fifth 2020 candidate to appear in a Fox News town hall, following Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren to protest with striking Chicago teachers Sanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Democratic strategist: Sanders seeking distance from Warren could 'backfire' MORE (I-Vt.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick MORE (D-N.Y.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharPoll: Biden holds 10-point lead nationally over Warren Robert Reich sees Democratic race as Warren, Sanders and Biden: 'Everyone else is irrelevant' Democrats lead Trump by wide margins in Minnesota MORE (D-Minn.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Hillicon Valley: Facebook removes Russian, Iranian accounts trying to interfere in 2020 | Zuckerberg on public relations blitz | Uncertainty over Huawei ban one month out Clinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race MORE (D).

Some candidates have explicitly refused to participate in town halls hosted by the network.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren to protest with striking Chicago teachers Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Four companies reach 0M settlement in opioid lawsuit | Deal opens door to larger settlements | House panel to consider vaping tax | Drug pricing markup tomorrow On The Money: Trump dismisses 'phony Emoluments Clause' after Doral criticism | Senate Dems signal support for domestic spending package | House panel to consider vaping tax MORE (D-Mass.) earlier this month blasted Fox News as a "hate-for-profit machine," saying she would never appear in a Fox town hall.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisClinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race Poll: Biden holds 10-point lead nationally over Warren Trump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special MORE's (D-Calif.) campaign previously told The Hill that the network has "reached out, but we haven't entertained it."

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE declared in March that the party would not allow Fox News to host any of its presidential primary debates in the 2020 election cycle.

Castro, 44, appeared in an April 11 town hall hosted by "CNN Tonight" anchor Don LemonDon Carlton LemonConservatives slam Beto O'Rourke over threat to tax-exempt status for religious organizations CNN LGBTQ town hall interrupted by protesters O'Rourke: Religious institutions should lose tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage MORE, drawing 654,000 viewers.

Fox News drew 2.6 million viewers for a town hall with Sanders that same month, while 1.6 million tuned in for Klobuchar's event in early May and 1.1 million watched Sunday's town hall with Buttigieg. 

CNN has hosted more than 20 town halls this year and will host four more events featuring 2020 Democratic contenders in the coming days.

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetBennet: Warren 'not being honest about' her 'Medicare for All' plan Senate Democrats want Warren to talk costs on 'Medicare for All' The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges MORE (D-Colo.) on Thursday will appear on CNN at 10 p.m. The event will be moderated by chief political correspondent Dana BashDana BashCNN faces backlash for video highlighting white congresswomen as impeachment leaders Giuliani pulls out of event featuring Putin: reports Sanders, Yang to miss CNN's town hall on LGBTQ issues MORE.
Democratic Reps. Seth MoultonSeth Moulton2020 Presidential Candidates Rep. Joe Kennedy has history on his side in Senate bid Mass shootings have hit 158 House districts so far this year MORE (Mass.), Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy MORE (Ohio) and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellBill Press: Mulvaney proves need for daily briefings Mulvaney admission deals blow to White House impeachment defense Testimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense MORE (Calif.) are slated to appear on Sunday in back-to-back town halls beginning at 6 p.m. The moderators for those events will be anchors Victor Blackwell, Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, respectively.
The four town halls will take place at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, the network said.

MSNBC has also been featuring 2020 Democratic hopefuls in town halls, including one on Tuesday night with Harris that attracted 2.2 million viewers. 

Joe Concha contributed.