The Future of the Castro Brothers

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Mayor Julián Castro
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Mayor Julián Castro

In town for yesterday’s debate between San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and state Sen. Dan Patrick, The New York Times‘ Jason Horowitz filed a story that addressed one of the night’s several subtexts: the political future of the Castro brothers. It’s an interesting read in part because it helps to make more explicit the speculation that’s been mounting about Julián Castro and his congressman brother Joaquin since before Julián gave the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. That was, of course, the same spot that propelled Barack Obama to national prominence in 2004.

Last year, a Texas Monthly cover depicted the Castros, along with Wendy Davis, as part of a triumvirate that represented the future of the Texas Democratic Party. But lately, the Castros have been playing it cool. The Times story makes clear there’s a substantial and considered effort at work behind the scenes.

Very few doubt that the mayor, the bigger political personality of the two, is angling for the vice-presidential spot on the 2016 Democratic ticket and that his brother is positioning himself for a potential run for statewide office, or against Senator Ted Cruz, the Republican Tea Party hero, in 2018.

Mayor Castro’s been working on a memoir, out in 2015—these pre-election books are now basically prerequisites for high national office. There are other fascinating details: Julián recently lunched with Bill Clinton in San Antonio, connected by a major figure in the city’s political establishment.

“It was good for Julián because Julián had not really had a chance to be around him much,” said Henry Cisneros, a former San Antonio mayor and Clinton cabinet official who brought Mr. Castro to the lunch and is considered by many to be his mentor. “Even if Julián was not vice president, I think he could very easily be in a Hillary Clinton cabinet.”

Read the whole thing here.

Christopher Hooks joined the Observer in 2014. Previously, he was a freelance journalist in Austin, where he grew up. His work has appeared in Politico Magazine, Slate, and Texas Monthly, among others. He graduated from The New School in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in history.