Julián Castro launches PAC to support progressive candidates

Julián Castro launches PAC to support progressive candidates
© Greg Nash

Former White House hopeful Julián Castro launched a new political action committee Thursday to boost progressive down-ballot Democrats.

Castro, who drew plaudits from liberals during his presidential campaign but failed to gain widespread traction, said he would use the People First Future’s resources to support candidates who “are prioritizing people, rather than special interests” and are “running bold, progressive campaigns.”

“It’s never been more important to elect leaders in our statehouses, governor’s offices, school boards, and halls of Congress who will stand up for the most vulnerable Americans,” Castro said in a press release. “While hardworking families struggle to pay rent, get good health care, or send their kids to decent schools, well-connected and deep-pocketed special interests get their way.”

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Castro’s PAC unveiled its slate of endorsements Thursday, backing 12 candidates running in competitive House primaries or general elections.

Among those Castro endorsed are his brother, Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroSteyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Hispanic Caucus formally endorses George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Technical difficulties mar several remote House hearings MORE, who is running for reelection in Texas’s 20th District, and Gina Ortiz Jones, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdKaren Bass's star rises after leading police reform push The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - States are pausing reopening Democrats release bilingual ads on police reform bill MORE in Texas’s 23rd District.

Castro’s other endorsements in Texas include Wendy Davis in Texas's 21st District, Candace Valenzuela in Texas's 24th District, Julie Oliver in Texas's 25th District, Sima Ladjevardian in Texas's 2nd District and Sri Preston Kulkarni in Texas's 22nd District.

Castro is also backing Rep. Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathPPP poll finds Biden leading in Georgia If Georgia primary was an attempt at voter suppression, it failed badly Floyd's brother urges Congress to take action MORE (D-Ga.), who is defending her swing seat near Atlanta, J.D. Scholten, an Iowa Democrat running in the state's 4th District for the second straight cycle, and Mondaire Jones, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyNew York City will not start counting mailed primary ballots until next week Progressives zero in on another House chairman in primary The Hill's Campaign Report: New York congressional candidates set to make LGBTQ history MORE in New York’s 17th District.

Castro also endorsed Marie Newman in Illinois, who ousted an anti-abortion Democrat in a primary earlier this year, and Rep. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodHelp reverse devastating health disparities by supporting the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act Overnight Health Care: Texas, Florida and Arizona see more record high cases | Trump 'not withdrawing support' from COVID-19 testing sites | NY, NJ, CT impose quarantine for certain travelers House Democrats unveil bill to expand ObamaCare ahead of Monday vote MORE, who flipped a GOP-held seat near Chicago in 2018.

The creation of the PAC is Castro’s latest foray into the 2020 races since he dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary. He announced last week that he is joining Voto Latino to aid its efforts to register 1 million Hispanic voters before November.

Castro’s PAC will be run by many of the same people who staffed his presidential campaign. Natalie Montelongo, the Castro campaign’s political director, will work as the PAC’s executive director, and Sawyer Hackett, the campaign’s spokesperson, will be a senior adviser.