There was a time not that long ago when Colorado, while not a political flyover state, was more a photo-op than anything else in a presidential race. Those days are gone. Because the state has grown so dramatically over the last twenty-five years and changed its hue from its traditional red to a modern day shade of purple, both political parties see Colorado as essential in the long slog to victory.
A recent visit by former Texas Congressman and U.S. Cabinet member Julian Castro demonstrated just that. He was in Denver last Friday for a series of appointments, including an interview with La Voz Bilingue, that he hopes bolsters Senator Elizabeth Warren’s chances for victory come March 3rd or Super Tuesday. Super Tuesday is when fifteen states and territories hold presidential preference primaries or caucuses, including Colorado.
“I wanted to come out here because I know how important it is for Senator Warren to articulate her message out here,” said Castro, Warren’s most well- known surrogate. “I think she fits very well with this state.”
Castro, the only Latino in the race for the Democratic nomination for President, dropped out in early January when fundraising fell short. But almost immediately he endorsed Warren for the high office. The former San Antonio Mayor was the first ever Mexican American to seek the presidency.
His message, which included a more progressive position on a number of issues, including legalization of marijuana and decriminalizing border crossing, and his fundraising fell far short of what was necessary to run an effective campaign. And while he won’t be his party’s nominee, he thinks Warren would be perfect.
Warren, he said, “represents the kind of President that Americans want back sitting in the Oval Office.” The Massachusetts Democrat “can inspire us and try and bring the country together, someone our children can look up to.” Warren, said Castro, “contrasts very well with the mess that is Donald Trump.” Even Republicans, he added, “are not proud of this president.” To bolster his argument, Castro pointed out that Warren “has a track record of protecting students and other consumers,” while Trump has his name forever etched on Trump University, a dubious institute that defrauded students. In rendering judgment, a federal court ordered Trump to pay a $25 million fine.
Castro has his work cut out for him. Warren, who once seemed destined for the top of the polls as recently as November, has fallen. Her fall began when she announced the price tag for her single-payer health care bill---an estimated $20.5 trillion. Her performance in the recent Iowa Caucus also had her in third place behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Bernie Sanders.
“These races, they change,” said Castro. “To her credit, she overperformed expectations in Iowa.” Castro also pointed to the fact that Warren also finished ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Castro’s visit to Denver was met with the first major snowfall of the year. The chief Warren surrogate dressed appropriately in jeans and a denim sherpa western jacket, perhaps a reflection of his Texas roots, another state crucial to Warren’s path to the White House.
“She has built a campaign that is in it for the long haul,” said Castro. “(We have) more than a thousand workers,” including fifteen in Colorado. “It’s a strong organization.”
Castro, who said his single mother inspired him and his twin brother, Joaquin’s, desire to enter politics, is said to be on a list of potential running mate should Warren win the Democratic nomination. His youth and ethnicity---the Latino vote will be crucial if Democrats have any hope of taking back the Executive Branch---are seen as invaluable assets to the party.