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Castro says he’s not likely to run in 2022


Julian Castro

Julián Castro — formerly a presidential candidate, secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and mayor of San Antonio — told KXAN this week that it’s “very unlikely” that he will seek any elected office in 2022.

Castro said he is focused on helping elect Democratic candidates through his political action committee, People First Future.

“Right now, I don’t plan to run in 2022,” Castro said. “I feel like I just went through the marathon of 2020 and then supported candidates and so, right now, I don’t have a target in mind in terms of when I’m going to run again.”


Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston, said the political window could soon close for candidates like O’Rourke and Castro, if they don’t win races soon.

“There’s a real shelf life for a political career if you can’t strike while the iron is hot,” Rottinghaus told KXAN. “The likelihood is that activists are going to move on, donors are going to consider new people, and people are going to forget you.”

As we know, Beto is thinking about running, so we’ve got that going for us. I don’t speak for Julián Castro, I have no sway over him, I have no business telling him what to do, but I basically agree with Brandon Rottinghaus about political shelf lives. One reason for that is that the Democratic bench is a little deeper than it used to be – remember when every article that speculated about which Dem might run for a statewide position mentioned John Sharp, mostly because there were so few obvious possibilities to mention? I will remind everyone, myself included, that it is still early, though given the short runway to the filing deadline and the need to raise a gazillion dollars against Abbott and his war chest, it gets late real quickly. My request to Julián Castro, if he really isn’t going to run, is to make that clear to other potential candidates so they don’t have to factor him into their thinking, and maybe encourage – and promise to support – other potential candidates that he thinks would do well. We do need to start forming a lineup, so that we can speak with a more unified voice against Abbott and his myriad screwups and failures as quickly as possible.

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  1. Lobo says:


    Asked about O’Rourke’s comments, Dave Carney, Abbott’s senior political adviser said:

    “Narcissists are going to be narcissistic.”

    Comment: True by definition, ergo meaningless/redundant. And if people running for office are narcissists (or have to be narcissistic as de facto prerequisite), how wouldn’t the same apply to Abbott?

    BTW: The literal definition is “having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.” See Narcissus, for etymology. That, of course, may be all Greek to legions of contemporary deplorables so eager to deprecate the Humanities.

    Political shelf life?
    Political window?
    Hot iron striking?

    Comment: All these are nothing more than figures of speech, and they are not even suitable metaphorsi in the context of electoral politics.

    If politicians have a “shelf life”, figuratively speaking, Biden shouldn’t be president. Julian Castro is still young and has a great future ahead of him.

    Additionally, to analogize a politician with a perishable consumer good is not good rhetorical practice. For one, it dehumanizes and objectifies them. It conveys the idea that they are to be consumed, rather than being exceptional individuals that have the ability to advance the common good. And the implied market analogy for voting/elections is not all that compelling either because each voter only has one vote per race, whereas in a conventional market you have buyers differentiated by financial resources. So, while voting involves choice as in a shopping situation (justifying micro-level choice models for voting), the purchasing power is equal among purchasers in the “electoral market”, making the market model less useful at the macro level even if there is a case to be made for available candidates on the primary or general-election ballot being likened to “products” available for “purchase” by the electorate.

    If there were a “political window” for public service, why wouldn’t it have closed for Biden, or Biden perhaps been defenestrated, to add to the jolly mix of metaphors.

    You might say that the “window opens”, figuratively speaking, when a person becomes age-eligible for a particular office or acquires citizenship (e.g. Latin American political science graduate Lina Hidalgo, anno 2013), but in the absence of a disqualifying age limit (such as mandatory retirement age in judicial systems), there is — generally speaking — no closing of the window. Any contention to the contrary requires supporting reasoning and evidence. A glib metaphor is no substitute for an evidence-based theory of political careers.

    There are, of course, exceptions. Following Brexit, Queen Lilibet’s subjects can no longer stand for local elections in EU member states (or vote, for that matter, assuming they may remain as noncitizen residents). If interested — whether in connection with visions of a forthcoming Texit or otherwise — see here: (EU and UK citizens’ rights after Brexit: An overview).

    Closer to home, a criminal conviction may entail loss of eligibility to run for office, but this did not bar Ron Reynolds, who served jail on misdemeanor convictions only, to provide an illustration.

    So, what disqualifies Julián Castro from running for governor, or making some sort of political comeback? Having the same colonial surname as the most recent Cuban rulers? And why would that, or anything else, close the “window” for him now when it didn’t do so earlier?

    The sharper edge & image

    Finally, as for hot-iron striking, once you got your sword forged in fire, you can forever use it as a prop as Arnold Schwarzenegger recently did in response to the Trump insurrection. Worth watching, IMO, if you are into political imagery, in this case not merely figurative. His crystal message has garnered 38.7 million views so far, which is more than the population of Texas and about 4x that of his native Austria.

    Mr. Universe promised “I’ll be back” and he made good on it. Why rule it out for others?

    For related inspiration, such as “metamorphoses” just google Ovid. Narcissus is in Book III.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    I would like to see Julian reprise his role as HUD Secretary, so he can live his dream of putting housing projects in nice neighborhoods. I want the folks in West U, University Place, River Oaks, and, now that the Heights has fully gentrified, the Heights, to experience the diversity they voted for in THEIR neighborhoods.

    In fact, maybe HUD can buy up the property where the Heights residents are upset about having a mini storage, near 11th St., and instead build housing projects. Then, relocate all the folks from Cuny Homes to the Heights, so the good people of the Heights can really practice the liberalism they preach, welcoming the new housing project residents to their neighborhood, as well as all the visitors a housing project will bring.

  3. C.L. says:

    Spoiler Alert – the Heights is already diverse.

    The outcry over the 1M sqft, seven story ‘mini storage’ facility being planned on/for 11th St (not ‘near’ it) is the same outcry you’d hear from the local residents in Katy if the structure were to be built on Falcon Landing Blvd or from the folks in Pearland if it were to be built on Kingsley Drive.

  4. Bill Daniels says:


    Spoiler alert: The Heights is no longer diverse with respect to household income. All the poors have been moved out. Now, seeing as you’re a big fan of equity, and equal outcomes, I’m sure you’ll welcome the economically diverse folks from Cuny Homes to that spot on 11th St., right? Don’t housing project residents deserve the same opportunity to live next door to you that I have?

    I’m deadly serious. If y’all don’t like the mini storage, get Team Biden to seize the property via eminent domain, and then build a housing project on it.