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Former HUD Secretary Drops Out of Presidential Race, Endorses Warren

Former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julián Castro has ended his bid for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 general election, and in a matter of days has made an endorsement in the race for one of his former opponents.

“I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time,” Castro said in a video message released by his campaign last Thursday, and posted to the former secretary’s Twitter account. “Today it’s with a heavy heart, and profound gratitude, that I will suspend my campaign for president.”

Though he had already made his exit from the campaign, Castro’s camp revealed that the former candidate had taken the further step of publicly endorsing one of his opponents in the primary race, Senator Elizabeth Warren.

“There’s one candidate I see who’s unafraid to fight like hell to make sure America’s promise will be there for everyone,” said Castro in a subsequent video message. “Who will make sure that no matter where you live in America  or where your family came from in the world, you have a path to opportunity, too. That’s why I’m proud to endorse Elizabeth Warren for President.”

In the wide field of Democratic presidential hopefuls targeting a contest with incumbent President Donald Trump this coming November, Castro sought to shape the conversation among Democrats to focus on issues related to immigration reform and changing policies at the southern border.

Late last year, Castro deeply criticized his successor at HUD, incumbent Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, for comments Carson allegedly made that suggested a lack of concern for transgendered people. Those comments disqualified him from “serving everyone” as HUD Secretary, Castro said at the time, before encouraging Carson to resign.

Castro served as HUD Secretary under former President Barack Obama between 2014 and 2017. During his tenure as HUD Secretary, Castro publicly supported the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program as an option to help seniors age in place.

“For as much as we focus on Millennials, the fastest growing segment of our population is people over the age of 65,” said Secretary Castro at Zillow’s Housing Roadmap conference in January 2015, as reported by Mann Mortgage. “We believe there are different ways that we can be helpful. One of them is as straightforward as housing counseling. Another is, of course, the HECM program that has had its challenges but if done right can work for older Americans.”

According to polling data, Castro failed to break through the crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates, rarely rising above 2% in the polls according to the New York Times. His exit brings the current number of Democratic candidates seeking their party’s nomination down to 14.