Castro impresses in Democratic debate; can he capitalize?


Democratic presidential candidate former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro gestures during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

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MIAMI (AP) — Julián Castro had a second chance at a first impression in the first Democratic presidential debate. Now he must figure out what to do with it.

Castro was once seen as a rising figure in Democratic politics, chosen as the keynote speaker at the 2012 convention, and then as Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Obama administration. But he’d been struggling to gain notice in his presidential bid.

At Wednesday’s debate, he seized on the issue of immigration with a proposal to rewrite federal law in a way that would decriminalize illegal border crossings. He also went after fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke for not agreeing with him.

The moment received widespread notice. On Thursday, Castro found himself in an unusual place: the object of a flood of media requests.

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