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.”

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 Castro, who is running for reelection in Texas’s 20th District, and Gina Ortiz Jones, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Will Hurd 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 McBath (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 Lowey 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 Underwood, 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.

Tags Joaquin Castro Lauren Underwood Lucy McBath Nita Lowey Will Hurd

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