Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate

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Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro’s presidential campaign announced Thursday it has hit the fundraising threshold for the December primary debate

“.@JulianCastro has hit the 200K donor threshold for the December debate,” Liza Acevedo, the Castro campaign’s deputy national press secretary, tweeted.

“Take note: Voters want to hear his vision and message for our country on stage. They want honesty. They want diversity. They want the entire game to be changed.”

To make the December debate, candidates have to amass the support of at least 200,000 unique donors and register support of 4 percent or more in four qualifying polls or 6 percent in two approved early voting state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina. 

While Castro has successfully garnered 200,000 unique donors, he has not yet hit the polling threshold by the Dec. 12 deadline —– he has not scored higher than 2 percent in any polls for the December debate that were approved by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). 

Castro Thursday called for the DNC to revamp its presidential nominating process, saying that having the first two nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, two overwhelmingly white states, fails to prioritize voters of color.

“I’m not asking for anyone to change the rules of the game in the middle of it. I want something much more meaningful than that. We need to change the whole game,” he said. “There’s no reason that Iowa and New Hampshire should go first — two states that hardly have any black people in them, any people of color.”

So far six candidates have qualified for the December debate: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and businessman Tom Steyer.

The issue of diversity in the Democratic 2020 primary field was thrust into the spotlight this week after Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is of Indian and Jamaican descent, dropped out of the race, meaning that all of the candidates who have qualified for next month’s debate thus far are white. 

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), are on the precipice of qualifying for the December debate, with each candidate needing one more qualifying poll to make the stage. 

Advocates have called for people to donate to Castro and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who is black, to ensure that there is diversity among the 2020 Democratic candidates. 

“I’m a little angry, I have to say, that we started with one of the most diverse fields in our history, giving people pride,” Booker said in an interview with BuzzFeed News on Wednesday. “I don’t understand how we’ve gotten to this place where there’s more billionaires in the race than there are black people.”

Castro has raised $360,000 from 18,000 donors in the days after Harris’s withdrawal, with an average contribution of $20.

Tags Amy Klobuchar Andrew Yang Bernie Sanders Cory Booker Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Pete Buttigieg Tom Steyer Tulsi Gabbard

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