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Julián Castro, Texan who just dropped White House bid, endorses Elizabeth Warren for president

The two politicos had often praised each other on the Democratic presidential campaign trail

WASHINGTON – Former presidential candidate Julián Castro is endorsing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the White House, stoking further speculation that the Texan would be on her vice presidential short list if she wins the Democratic nomination.

The former San Antonio mayor, who on Thursday dropped his own bid, said in a video released Monday that “there’s one candidate I see who’s unafraid to fight like hell to make sure America’s promise will be there for everyone.”

“Who will make sure that no matter where you live in America or where your family came from in the world, you have a path to opportunity, too,” he said. “That's why I'm proud to endorse Elizabeth Warren for president."

Castro, also a former U.S. housing secretary, plans to appear alongside Warren on Tuesday at a rally in New York and then join her in Iowa next week.

The Texan’s endorsement isn’t likely to boost Warren much in the polls, increase her already robust fundraising or garner her lots of long-term media attention. Indeed, Castro dropped out of the White House race because he struggled in those areas.

But Castro, who had been the presidential race’s only Latino candidate, could nevertheless prove to be a valuable surrogate.

He could provide Warren inroads in Texas, a crucial Super Tuesday primary, particularly among the state’s burgeoning Hispanic population. He could also help tilt the broader contest among progressives, many of whom have praised his detailed and unapologetically liberal policy ideas.

Castro is one of the first former presidential candidates in the 2020 cycle to make an endorsement.

But a formal Castro-Warren alliance is no real surprise. The two candidates often praised each other’s proposals on the campaign trail and, notably, avoided engaging each other in the kind of spats that have developed between some of the other contenders.

In May, for instance, Warren said she was impressed by Castro’s policy chops.

“His idea around immigration and about changing how we treat people who come here and who are not documented -- I think he’s got some really good ideas around this,” said the senator, who backed Castro’s contentious proposal to decriminalize unauthorized border crossings.

That rapport showed in Monday’s announcement video, which appears to have been filmed at Warren’s home.

“You did so many things in this campaign,” Warren tells Castro in the clip. “And it continues to matter. It’s not just in the past tense – it matters.”

Castro tells Warren that “nobody is working harder than you."

“Not only in meeting people, but listening to people,” said Castro, who was on Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential short list in 2016. “And also, bringing the goods and saying, ‘OK, this is what I’m going to do about it.’”

It’s unclear if Castro’s twin brother, San Antonio Rep. Joaquin Castro, will likewise endorse Warren.

The congressman served as chairman of his brother’s campaign and leads the influential Congressional Hispanic Caucus. He retweeted several Twitter messages on Monday morning that shared the news that his brother had backed Warren. But he didn’t return a request for comment.

Tom Benning. Tom covers the intersection of business and government in Washington. He came to D.C. in 2016 from The News' Austin bureau. He has also previously worked in Dallas, covering everything from City Hall to transportation to former President George W. Bush. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.

tbenning@dallasnews.com @tombenning
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