Twenty candidates will participate in the first Democratic primary debates on Wednesday and Thursday. But outside the top contenders, most candidates are complete mysteries. BTRtoday takes a brief look at the Unknown Dems of the 2020 primary.
Julián Castro, 44, former Housing Secretary and Mayor of San Antonio, Texas
Pundits have compared a few 2020 Dems to Barack Obama, perhaps none more so than Castro. But how does someone called who actually worked for Obama and is sometimes called “Latino Obama” have such a low profile? Branko Marcetic wondered the same for Jacobin in a long piece about Castro’s “early, neoliberal years” while running for mayor of San Antonio. Castro echoes Obama in style and rhetoric, but has adopted some progressive policies during the early 2020 campaign. He supports Medicare for All (mostly), abolishing private prisons, free college and tax credits for teachers.
Immigration has been Castro’s best issue early in the campaign. He’s loudly denounced the Trump administration’s border policy and detainment, and openly advocated for extendingTemporary Protective Services and paths to citizenship for refugees (as several other candidates have). Castro has also said he’d appoint a reparations task force as president, though might’ve just mentioned it as a useful criticism of Bernie Sanders.