Julián Castro: Your 2018 Frontrunner for Texas Governor?

The New York Times Magazine has a profile of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro that is well worth reading in full. But, I can't resist sharing a couple of tidbits with you.
by | May 7, 2010

The New York Times Magazine has a profile of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (who is a rising Democratic star once again after his career took a brief detour) that is well worth reading in full. But, I can't resist sharing a couple of tidbits with you.

First, this part made me chuckle:

Paradoxically, Julián Castro’s appeal to fellow Hispanic voters may be limited by his own assimilation. Although he pronounces his name “HOO-lee-un,” he doesn’t really speak Spanish — a fact he isn’t eager to advertise. La Raza put a high premium on the mother tongue, but Rosie Castro spoke English to her sons, and Julián studied Latin and Japanese in school, while Joaquín studied Latin and German. A lack of Spanish fluency isn’t unusual in San Antonio, especially among Castro’s generation, but in the immigrant barrios of Houston and the colonias south of Interstate 10 down to the border, Spanish is the first and often only language. A Mexican-American with statewide political aspirations needs to be able to do more than pronounce his name correctly. Early in his administration, Castro assigned his chief of staff, Robbie Greenblum — a Jewish lawyer from the border town of Laredo whose own Spanish is impeccable — to discreetly find him a tutor. Rosie Castro’s son is now being taught Spanish by a woman named Marta Bronstein. Greenblum met her in shul.

More substantively, the person who may be Castro's future rival has a famous last name:

If Republicans hope to compete nationally, they will need more flexible policies and candidates as appealing as Julián Castro. The name that most often arises is George P. Bush, son of Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, and nephew of President George W. Bush. As governor of Texas, W. was popular with Mexican-Americans, and in the 2004 election he won more than 40 percent of the national Hispanic vote. His nephew George P. (whom George H. W. Bush famously described as “one of the little brown ones”) is now all grown up and living in Texas. He is a graduate of Rice University in Houston and the University of Texas law school and recently helped found a political-action committee in Austin to recruit Hispanic Republicans. He has all the tools — good looks, fluent Spanish, ethnic bona fides on his Mexican-American mother’s side, instant name recognition and access to a network of political and financial connections on his father’s — that could make him a formidable vote-getter. Mark McKinnon, who helped put Bush 43 in the White House, half-jokingly refers to George P. as “47.”

Rick Perry against Bill White is a great race. But, the Texas governor's race in 2018 between George P. Bush and Julián Castro should be even better.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com  | 

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