Juan Capallero discusses his support for Castro on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Capallero is from San Antonio, “born and raised.”
After being endorsed by the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, Presidential Candidate and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she is “looking hard” at Castro, causing many to speculate that he is high on her list of potential running mates, should she win the democratic nomination for the 2016 election.
A native of San Antonio, Castro has been the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development since July of 2014. After running for Mayor and losing the election in 2001, Castro was successful in his race for Mayor in 2009, and served through 2014.
At a rally in San Antonio on Thursday October 14th, Castro announced his endorsement of Clinton, saying “Having watched and respected for years now Secretary Clinton, I know that she appeals to Americans of all backgrounds and colors, different perspectives and walks of life.”
Although Clinton has not officially declared Castro as a running mate, many suspect that this announcement is coming if she wins the democratic nomination.
Native San Antonians have varying reactions to the potential of their former Mayor being elected to a national office.
“He’s a good addition [to Clinton’s campaign], being hispanic,” said a native San Antonian doctor who chose to remain anonymous. “The number of hispanics in San Antonio and in the United States is growing, so he’s going to help her candidacy, her potential for winning.”
“He’s been a good candidate for San Antonio, oh yes…” San Antonio local Juan Capallero said.
While many believe that the addition of a hispanic running mate will gain Clinton more minority support, others believe that Castro could harm her campaign.
“I think they’re making a huge mistake–two minorities…they won’t make it,” San Antonio resident Alfred Sanchez said. “I’m thinking about how people will react publicly–they might say no to it. I wouldn’t vote against them, I’m just saying they’re going to penalize us.”
As citizens reflect on his time in office, however, most feel relatively positive about the work he accomplished.
“He did the Pre-K Program, he built the House Cafe [Cafe College] program, and I know he’s a Harvard graduate, I know that much,” said Sanchez.
“He paid more attention to the SAPD [San Antonio Police Department] and stuff like that, more attention on the Riverwalk so that the homeless weren’t drinking out here, so there could be more tourism,” San Antonian Juan Herrera said.
Some say that his work as a minority in office had a positive influence on the citizens of San Antonio.
“I’m a bilingual teacher, and I love that my students have someone to look up to who’s hispanic who honors his heritage,” said Christi Ford, a citizen a suburb of San Antonio.
As San Antonians reflect on the potential of a local being elected as Vice President, many consider what issues will influence their votes in the 2016 election.
“No more tax breaks for corporate America,” Sanchez said. “They’ve got to change that, and lower the costs the of living, and get free college education.”
Some hope that the pair of Clinton and Castro, if elected, will focus on minority issues such as immigration reform.
“[I think] that he is going to help lots of people who are undocumented,” a local anonymous source said. “I will vote for her [Hillary Clinton]. She seems like the best candidate, and she says she’s going to do a lot.”
Many await some kind of action from Castro before making an affirmative decision about whether to support him as Clinton’s running mate.
“He’s young, and he’s got a very charismatic personality,” said Ford. “But whether that translates to issues, real issues, I don’t know…a lot of times politicians will say one thing, and then when they get on the national stage, they start altering their stance in order to apply to a larger demographic, and so I’m curious to see whether he maintains the same type of stances.”
Meanwhile, some natives, like the anonymous doctor, have given their firm support to their fellow San Antonian.
“I think she’s going to win if Julian Castro is the vice president.”