Julián Castro to Deliver DNC Keynote Address

The San Antonio mayor will be the first Hispanic to give this speech. 
Tue July 31, 2012 6:16 pm
Sarah Wilson

San Antonio mayor Julián Castro will deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in September, reports Univision's Jordan Fabian. 

Castro, 37, will address the crowd on the opening night of the convention on Tuesday Sept. 4 in Charlotte, N.C., where Democrats will officially renominate President Obama for a second term. Castro’s prime speaking spot is sure to stoke speculation about his political future, since Obama’s keynote address in 2004 helped launch his national political career.

Castro will be the first Hispanic to deliver the keynote address. 

This is just another notch on the belt of the young politician whose political trajectory has been steadily rising for more than a decade. As TEXAS MONTHLY's Cecilia Ballí reported in 2002: 

In 2001, just one year out of law school (on Cinco de Mayo, mind you), 26-year-old Julián Castro became the youngest city councilman in San Antonio history, soundly defeating five challengers with 59 percent of the vote. ...Julián stole the title of youngest councilman from [former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of HUD Henry] Cisneros by one year—Cisneros was 27—and knows that if he runs for mayor in 2005, when Ed Garza, now 33, will have reached his two-term limit, he will be 30 and likewise steal the title of youngest elected mayor.

Castro comes from a politically-minded family. His mother, Rosie, was a community activist who was instrumental in San Antonio's Chicano movement, and his identical twin, Joaquin, has been a state representative since 2003. Julián has long been on the radar of national media and is often mentioned in the same breath as the phrase "Texas's first Hispanic governor," as Jan Jarboe Russel wrote for TEXAS MONTHLY in 2010:

In the future, some smart, engaging Hispanic Democrat like Castro could be elected governor of Texas. The Los Angeles Times and the Economist have written stories that have prominently mentioned Castro as a future leader of the coming Hispanic majority. He’s appeared on Fox, MSNBC, and ABC, where on Good Morning America Diane Sawyer mispronounced his name, calling him “Joo-lee-un” instead of “Hoo-lee-ahn.” 

Jarboe also described a prescient December 2009 meeting between Julián and the president:

Castro traveled to the White House for a jobs summit with business leaders and Cabinet officials. An hour or so into the meeting, President Obama entered the room.

“I thought you were on staff, maybe an intern,” said Obama, ribbing Castro. “Are you really a mayor?”

“San Antonio, Texas,” Castro shot back, taking no guff.

“Just kidding,” said Obama, who knows a thing or two about what it’s like to be representative of demographic change. “I know exactly who you are.”

Watch Julián's announcement here:

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