Julian Castro, who recently announced his intention to run for president in 2020, visited Puerto Rico to attend the Latino Political Summit, organized by the Latino Victory Fund.
“I chose as my first visit after the announcement to come to Puerto Rico, because I want all the people of Puerto Rico to know that you count, that we respect you,” he said in a speech. “I want them to know that we are thinking about them as they recover from Hurricane Maria.”
Following the speech, Castro toured parts of San Juan that are still suffering from damage caused by the 2017 hurricane. He saw that many homes still are not habitable and heard residents describe the difficulty of getting FEMA support for rebuilding because of a lack of the correct paperwork.
Castro was mayor of San Antonio, Texas, for five years, and served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama. In his role as leader of housing issues, he visited Puerto Rico in 2016 to meet with officials on affordable housing and protection from the Zika virus.
A graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law, Castro would be the first Latino on a major party ticket if he won the primary. Voters in Puerto Rico cannot vote in presidential elections, but do have a vote in the political primaries for the presidential race.