Wednesday, June 19, 2019

“Run Joaquin, Run” campaign trying to get Joaquin Castro on the ballot

Texas Democrats are waiting for the news from U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro on whether they’ll have another competitive Senate race this year.

There is anticipation that he’ll soon announce if he’ll take on longtime Republican incumbent John Cornyn, the state’s senior senator and with that anticipation is the question of whether changed demographics and a Latino Democrat on the ballot will help break the GOP’s dominance of Texas’ statewide elected offices. While the wait is on for the expected word that Castro is running, Latino Victory Fund has launched a “Run, Joaquín, Run” campaign to push along his decision and build support among Latino voters.

The digital campaign was created to generate grassroots interest among Latinos in a potential Castro candidacy. “There is no doubt that Sen. Cornyn is vulnerable, and we are ready to build a grassroots army to recruit and support Joaquin Castro to run and win in 2020,” Melissa Mark Viverito, Latino Victory Fund interim president, said in a statement last week.

Castro has been dropping suggestions that he may be ready to do run; a week ago, Joaquín Castro sent a tweet to Cornyn with biting criticism for the senator. He asserted that Cornyn failed to call him back when he asked for him to support his bill to block President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency.

The tweet was in response to comments by Cornyn to a San Antonio media outlet that had asked him about a possible challenge from Castro. With Democrats newly in charge of the House, Castro’s profile has risen and he heads the growing Congressional Hispanic Chamber as its chairman this year.

In Texas, about a third or to about 40 percent of Latinos who vote cast their ballot for Republicans. But in 2018, there were big increases in Latino turnout in heavily Latino counties, according to Latino Decisions, a firm that has done polling for Democrats, the increases are considered part of the reason the state saw Democrats win state and congressional seats and places on appeals courts.

Still, Cornyn has been elected to three terms, and Democrats are counting that his support for Trump will help keep him from a fourth term. Cornyn’s campaign already is associating Castro with liberal policies and lawmakers and tagging him as a socialist; “Whether it’s Hurricane Harvey relief or the Green New Deal, time and again Congressman Castro has stood with Nancy Pelosi at the expense of Texans,” Jackson, the campaign manager, said in an email.

NBC NEWS