Castro says he’s in for Congress

It’s on in CD35.

State Rep. Joaquin Castro said today he is running next year for U.S. Congress in a new district carved by the state’s Republican majority, likely pitting him in the Democratic primary against U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin.

“This congressional race is all about the future,” Castro said in a prepared statement.

“Just like streets and highways help people get where they need to go, I believe there is an Infrastructure of Opportunity that helps people achieve the American dream. We will build this infrastructure by investing in higher education and job training, by improving public education and by making sure our small businesses succeed,” he said.

Castro has represented the 125th District in the Texas House of Representatives since 2002.

The Trib has a lengthy story about this development. I agree with my blogging colleague here:

“If you’re going by the numbers, I would say Castro is the heavy favorite,” said Harold Cook, a Democratic political consultant based in Austin. “But if there’s any Anglo candidate, any Austin candidate, who can win this race, it’s Doggett.”

Two things to consider: One, there’s no guarantee that CD35 will still exist as drawn by the time the filing deadline arrives. The Justice Department may kick the map back for any number of fixes. Castro is quoted in the Trib story expressing confidence that CD35 at least will withstand review, and he may well be right. Nothing is set in stone just yet, that’s all I’m saying.

And two, the GOP may want to consider being careful about what they’re wishing for. It’s true that Doggett is a senior Democrat with a solidly progressive record who has generally been a pain in their rear end. He’s also a 64-year-old white guy who’ll be happy to occupy his seat until someone carts him out of there. Castro is a 36-year-old Latino with ambitions. I daresay there’s little chance he’ll still want to be a Congressman when he’s 64. He may have his eye on bigger things by the time he’s 44. By winning what will surely be a high-profile election and getting access to a much deeper and broader donor base, he’d take a big step towards that end. And thus, by finally ridding themselves of their longtime nemesis, the Republicans may enable the Democrats to significantly upgrade their bench. No guarantees, of course, but I’d bet big money on Joaquin Castro running for something statewide before Lloyd Doggett does, and if he does run I’d give him much better odds of winning than Doggett ever would have had. Like I said, be careful what you wish for.

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5 Responses to Castro says he’s in for Congress

  1. landslide says:

    Doggett has already run statewide before Castro! As you recall, he was the Democratic nominee for US Senate vs. Phil Gramm in 1984, when Castro was a wee lad of 7 years.

  2. Sure, but that’s my point – Doggett is the past. The fact that he ran in 1984 doesn’t help any when contemplating who might run for what in 2014. I have a lot of respect for Rep. Lloyd Doggett, but he’s not going to be part of the next Democratic resurgence. He’s like Roy Oswalt on the 2010 Astros – still a hell of a player, but not someone who will be part of the team’s next playoff run. Maybe Joaquin Castro won’t be part of that, either, but he has a much greater chance of it than Lloyd Doggett does.

  3. Steven Hernandez says:

    Let me first say that I like your blog. I always seem to read it most regularly just before the crazy season begins.

    Now for a wow, you really know how to dog(gette) someone for being old. True you were mostly nice about it but still. That said I like Doggett and I have been voting for him for a long time because of what he brings to the table. You know age and experience.

    Truth be told, Rep. Doggett is not only a strong liberal voice in Congress but he is also my congressman. Do not for an instant think that I dislike or have disdain for Castro cause he is a man to be respected and liked. I guess what it comes down to for me is that Doggett has been an effective pain in the ass for Republithugs that if the OLD MAN is up for the job he gets my vote.

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