Democrats have been pinning future campaign hopes on rising star Julian Castro, and today the former mayor of San Antonio ascended to a cabinet position in the Obama administration.
Castro was confirmed in a 71-26 vote to succeed Shaun Donovan as secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Eighteen Republican senators voted for Castro, including Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Castro’s home-state senators split on the vote, with John Cornyn (R-Texas) voting to confirm and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) voting against the 39-year-0ld politico.
In a statement after the vote, President Obama called Castro “a proven leader, a champion for safe, affordable housing and strong, sustainable neighborhoods.”
“I know that together with the dedicated professionals at HUD, Julián will help build on the progress we’ve made battling back from the Great Recession — rebuilding our housing market, reducing homelessness among veterans, and connecting neighborhoods with good schools and good jobs that help our citizens succeed,” Obama said. “Julián has lived the American Dream in his own life, and I’m confident he will help Americans across our country seize their own piece of that dream for themselves and their children.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he was “pleased” that the upper chamber confirmed Obama’s pick.
“Julián worked hard as Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, to improve the lives of those he served…Secretary Castro understands the challenges faced by our middle class,” Reid said.
Castro was given a plum speaking spot at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where he said, “Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it.”
“We know that in our free market economy some will prosper more than others. What we don’t accept is the idea that some folks won’t even get a chance,” Castro said. “And the thing is, Mitt Romney and the Republican party are perfectly comfortable with that America.”
His twin brother, Joaquin, is a Democratic congressman representing Texas’ 20th District.