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Joaquín Castro

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Joaquín Castro (born September 16, 1974)[1] is an American Democratic politician who has served in the United States House of Representatives for Texas's 20th congressional district since 2013. The district includes just over half of his native San Antonio, Texas, as well as some of its nearby suburbs. From 2003 to 2013, Castro was a member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 125.[2] While in the Texas state legislature, Castro served as vice-chair of the Higher Education Committee and was a member of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee. He also previously served on other committees, such as County Affairs, Border & International Affairs, and Juvenile Justice & Family Issues.[2]

Joaquín Castro
Joaquin Castro, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byCharlie Gonzalez
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 125th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 14, 2013
Preceded byArt Reyna
Succeeded byJustin Rodriguez
Personal details
Born (1974-09-16) September 16, 1974 (age 44)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Anna Flores
RelativesJulian (twin brother)
EducationStanford University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

His identical twin brother, Julián Castro, was the Mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014 and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017.[3]


Early life, education, and early careerEdit

Castro was born and raised in San Antonio and attended Thomas Jefferson High School. Castro has stated that his interest in public service developed at a young age from watching his parents' involvement in political campaigns and civic causes. His father, Jessie Guzman, is a retired mathematics teacher from the Edgewood Independent School District in the west side of San Antonio, and his mother, Marie "Rosie" Castro, a community activist. Jessie and Rosie never married. He graduated with honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communications and earned a Juris Doctor with his twin brother at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[4] After law school, the two brothers continued together to work for the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld before starting their own firm in 2005.[5]

He worked in public education, health care, and the juvenile justice system.[4] Castro is a member of the National College Advising Corps, St. Mary's University Mission and Identity Taskforce, St. Philip's College President's Advisory Board, and Texas Family Impact Seminar.

Texas House of RepresentativesEdit


Castro ran for Texas's 125th House district in 2002. He defeated incumbent State Representative Arthur Reyna in the Democratic primary 64-36 percent.[6] In the general election, he defeated Republican Nelson Balido, 60-40 percent. He was twenty-eight at the time of his election to the state House.[7] In 2004, he won re-election to a second term unopposed.[8] In 2006, he won re-election to a third term, defeating Republican Nelson Balido, 58%-38%.[8] In 2008, he won re-election to a fourth term unopposed.[8] In 2010, he won re-election to a fifth term, defeating Libertarian Jeffrey Blunt, 78%-22%.[8]

Committee assignmentsEdit

  • County Affairs
  • Higher Education (Vice Chair)[9]
  • Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
  • Oversight of Higher Ed Governance, Excellence & Transparency[10]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit


In June 2011, Castro announced that he was running for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in the newly-drawn Texas's 35th congressional district. He was initially set to challenge fellow Democrat and nine-term incumbent Lloyd Doggett, whose home in Austin had been drawn into the district, in the Democratic primary[11]

However, on November 28, after Charlie Gonzalez of the neighboring 20th District announced his retirement after seven terms, Castro announced his intent to run instead for the 20th District seat. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, all but assuring him of being the next congressman from this heavily Democratic, Hispanic-majority district. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, he introduced his brother Julián as keynote speaker.[9] In November 2012, Castro defeated Republican David Rosa 64%-34%.[12] becoming only the fifth person to represent this district since its creation in 1935.

In 2017, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News questioned Castro's decision not to enter the 2018 U.S. Senate race against the Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, an unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2016. Bruce Davidson predicted that Castro could have defeated the announced candidate, Beto O'Rourke, representative of Texas's 16th congressional district based in El Paso, for the Democratic senatorial nomination. "Castro is said to be ambitious, but will he ever have a better chance to move up than in the Trump-era against Ted Cruz?," Davidson asked. Davidson added that Texas' other senator, Republican John Cornyn of San Antonio, would have taken advantage of a similar opportunity to run. In 2002, Cornyn, the state's then one-term attorney general, filed to succeed retiring Republican Senator Phil Gramm, while two other Republican hopefuls, Henry Bonilla of Texas's 23rd congressional district and David Dewhurst, the land commissioner and later the lieutenant governor, vacillated and lost their chance to become a senator. Bonilla was defeated for House re-election after redistricting in 2006, and Dewhurst subsequently lost the 2012 Republican runoff election for the Senate to Ted Cruz.[13]


Representative Castro preparing to deliver a keynote speech at LULAC.

Castro was officially sworn into office on January 3, 2013 becoming a member of the 113th United States Congress. He was chosen as the president of the freshman class of Democrats in the 113th Congress.[14]

In the 114th Congress, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer named Castro a Chief Deputy Whip.[15] During the 2016 presidential election, Castro served as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton's campaign.[16]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Caucus membershipsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Representative Joaquin Castro and his twin brother, then-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro at the LBJ Presidential Library.

Castro is the son of Jesse Guzman and Rosie Castro and the identical twin brother of Julián Castro, the former Mayor of San Antonio and the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Cabinet of President Barack Obama;[3] Joaquín is one minute younger than Julián, being born at 2:41AM and 2:40AM respectively.[21] In addition to his work in the Texas Legislature, Castro practices law in San Antonio. He has also taught as a visiting professor of law at St. Mary's University and as an adjunct professor at Trinity University in San Antonio.[citation needed]

Castro sits on several boards of nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education, including: Achieving the Dream, the National College Advising Corps, St. Phillip's College President's Advisory Board, St. Mary's University Mission and Identity Taskforce, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' (NALEO) Taskforce on Education.[4]

In early summer of 2013, Castro became engaged to his girlfriend, Anna Flores. The announcement was made by his twin brother, Julian, on his Facebook page.[22] The couple had a daughter in 2013[23][24] and a son in 2016.[25]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Project Vote Smart - Representative Joaquin Castro - Biography Archived 2006-12-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b Texas House of Representatives membership summary Archived 2010-10-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b Gillman, Todd J (25 July 2014). "Julián Castro to take office Monday as Housing Secretary". Dallas Morning News.
  4. ^ a b c Representatives, Texas House of. "Texas House of Representatives".
  5. ^ "TRIBPEDIA: Julián Castro". "The Texas Tribune". Retrieved 2013-08-29.
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX State House 125- D Primary Race - Mar 12, 2002".
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX State House 125 Race - Nov 05, 2002".
  8. ^ a b c d "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2009.
  9. ^ a b Garrett, Robert T. (September 4, 2012). "With his twin brother in the spotlight, Joaquin Castro prepares for prominent role of his own". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Texas Legislature Online - 82nd Legislature - Information for Rep. Joaquin Castro".
  11. ^ Ramshaw, Emily (June 24, 2011). "Castro To Take On Doggett for New Congressional Seat — 2012 Congressional Election". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  12. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX District 20 Race - Nov 06, 2012".
  13. ^ Bruce Davidson, "Risk-averse Castro opts out of Senate run", San Antonio Express-News, May 14, 2017, F3.
  14. ^ "Joaquin Castro Elected President of Democrat Freshmen of 113th Congress". Fox News. January 7, 2013.
  15. ^ French, Lauren (March 9, 2015). "Joaquin Castro climbs higher in Democratic leadership". Politico. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  16. ^ Shapiro, Ari (March 1, 2016). "Rep. Joaquin Castro On Hillary Clinton's Campaign After Super Tuesday". NPR. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  17. ^ "HPSCI Minority Members - U.S. House of Representatives".
  18. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Members". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Interview and quiz with Julian Castro".
  22. ^ "Mayor says Congressman Castro engaged".
  23. ^ Source, The Reliable (15 December 2013). "Love, etc.: Rep. Joaquin Castro and wife welcome a baby girl" – via
  24. ^ Joaquin Castro [@JoaquinCastrotx] (15 December 2013). "Anna & I proudly welcoming our first child Andrea Elena in #SanAntonio this a.m. Thank you to all the well wishers!" (Tweet) – via Twitter. /photo/1
  25. ^ Joaquin Castro [@JoaquinCastrotx] (2 February 2016). "Anna and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our son, Roman Victor Castro" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External linksEdit