Former Obama housing secretary Julián Castro ended his run for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday.
Castro pushed the 2020 field on immigration and swung hard at rivals on the debate stage but never found a foothold to climb from the back of the pack.
Castro released an online video Thursday morning that said he’s proud of the campaign he’s run, but with only a month before the Iowa caucuses, “I have determined that it simply isn’t our time.”
The video continues, “So today it’s with a heavy heart and with profound gratitude, that I will suspend my campaign for president. To all who have been inspired by our campaign, especially our young people, keep reaching for your dreams — and keep fighting for what you believe in.”
Castro, who launched his campaign in January, dropped out after failing to garner enough support in the polls or donations to make recent Democratic debates.
A former San Antonio mayor who was the only Latino in the race, Castro had stalled for most of his campaign around 1% in polls and entered October low on money.
Castro, 45, was among the youngest in the running at a moment when the party’s ascendant left wing is demanding generational change.
And as the grandson of a Mexican immigrant, Castro said he recognized the meaning of his candidacy in the face of President Donald Trump’s inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric and hardline policies on the U.S.-Mexico border.
But his sagging poll numbers never budged. He was often eclipsed by another Texan in the race who dropped out this fall, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and another young former mayor, Pete Buttigieg of South Bend. His campaign and supporters, meanwhile, grumbled that Castro didn’t get due credit for taking out-front positions.
What is next for Castro is unclear. Back home in Texas, Democrats had long viewed Castro as their biggest star in waiting and some have urged him to run for governor as the state trends more diverse and liberal.
Fourteen Democratic candidates remain in the field for the 2020 presidential race, according to a candidate tracker from the New York Times.