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Julián Castro Drops Out

Julian Castro (R) tours the Skid Row area / Getty Images
• January 2, 2020 10:20 am

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Former Obama administration cabinet official Julián Castro announced Thursday he would end his 2020 presidential campaign.

"With only a month until the Iowa caucuses, and given the circumstances of this campaign season, I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time," the Democrat said in a video message released by his campaign. "Today it’s with a heavy heart and profound gratitude that I will suspend my campaign for president."

The nearly four-minute video included highlights from his campaign, with Castro saying, "I’m not done fighting."

Castro's campaign struggled to gain traction in the crowded Democratic field. His support hovered around 2 percent in national polls and early primary states. Despite participating in the first four Democratic debates, he was unable to qualify for the November and December debates. In October, his campaign threatened his supporters that he would end his campaign if he didn't reach self-imposed fundraising goals.

Castro, who served as the Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, pushed other candidates to adopt a more radical position on immigration. He was one of the first candidates to come out in favor of decriminalizing border crossings, and when former Obama DHS secretary Jeh Johnson likened that position to open borders, Castro criticized him for "adopting a right-wing talking point." But in 2013, Castro strongly backed Obama-era immigration policies and said "open borders" was too extreme to consider.