Democrat Julian Castro ends 2020 presidential bid

Democratic presidential hopeful Julian Castro announced the end of his 2020 presidential bid Thursday.

“We’ve shaped the conversation on so many important issues in this race, stood up for the most vulnerable people and given a voice to those who are often forgotten,” he said in a video released Thursday morning. "But with only a month until the Iowa caucuses, and given the circumstances of this campaign season, I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time.

"So today it's with a heavy heart and with profound gratitude that I will suspend my campaign for president."

Castro, who served from 2014 to 2017 as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama and from 2009 to 2014 as mayor of San Antonio, Texas, was the only Latino candidate in the race for the White House.

"I'm not done fighting," Castro said in the video released Thursday. "I'll keep working towards a nation where everyone counts, a nation where everyone can get a good job, good health care and a decent place to live."

Castro launched his campaign last January from his hometown, San Antonio. He pushed the 2020 field on immigration but failed to garner enough support in the polls or donations to make recent Democratic debates. He had stalled for most of his campaign around 1% in polls and entered October low on money.

Castro is the first Democratic presidential hopeful to exit the race in the new year. Last month, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, former U.S. congressman Joe Sestak and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock suspended their campaigns.

Fourteen candidates remain in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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