Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of Housing and Urban Development under then-President Barack Obama, would have been the first Latino president, had the voters rallied behind him. He was the first Texas Democrat to run for president since 1976.
But he lagged behind other Democratic primary candidates in the polls and in campaign funds, telling supporters on Twitter that he needed to raise $800,000 by the end of October or his campaign would be “silenced for good.” He made a similar threat in an email to supporters back in September. Apparently, this time he meant it.
Castro’s campaign has struggled to climb the polls since he joined the race, and he failed to qualify for the last two Democratic debates in November and December.
After Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) dropped out of the race on Dec. 3, Castro criticized the lack of diversity that would be on the stage of the December Democratic primary debate. (He failed to make the polling numbers he needed to qualify for that debate.)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 15: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro introduces Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a 'Latinos for Hillary' grassroots event October 15, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. The event was part of the campaign's ongoing effort to build an organization outside of the four early states and work hard for every vote. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro speaks at the National Fair Housing Training and Policy Conference at the Housing and Urban Development Department in Washington, DC, on September 2, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04: The Honorable Julian Castro and Eva Longoria, actress and co-founder, Latino Victory, attend the Latino Victory Foundation's Latino Talks event at The Hamilton on May 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro after taking part in a discussion on 'our nation's urban centers,' and 'challenges from housing and transportation to education and workforce accessibility' at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 11: Chairman Susan Collins, R-Me., introduces HUD Secretary Julian Castro, center, to Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., ranking member, before a Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building on FY2016 budget estimates for the Housing and Urban Development Department, March 11, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Julian Castro, secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), speaks during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. The hearing was entitled 'The Future of Housing in America; Oversight of the Federal Housing Administration.' Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 18: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) swears in Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro (L) as his wife Erica and daughter Carina look on during a ceremonial swearing in ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building August 18, 2014 in Washington, DC. Castro, the former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, was officially sworn in on July 28. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S President Barack Obama, right, gestures to Julian Castro, secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as they arrive to speak at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 31, 2014. Castro, the former San Antonio, Texas mayor, was sworn in this week and will begin his duties on Monday, Aug. 4. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro testifies at a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on his nomination to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, June 17, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
INDIANOLA, IOWA - SEPTEMBER 15: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro speaks at the 36th Annual Harkin Steak Fry on September 15, 2013 in Indianola, Iowa. Sen. Harkin's Democratic fundraiser is one of the largest in Iowa each year. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 05: First lady Michelle Obama talks with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (C) and his brother Joaquin Castro during day two of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The DNC that will run through September 7, will nominate U.S. President Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE. NC - SEPTEMBER 4: Democratic National Convention keynote speaker San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D) addresses the 2012 Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by /The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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“What we’re staring at is a DNC debate stage with no people of color on it,” Castro said in a filmed statement. “That does not reflect the diversity of our party or our country. We need to do better than that.”
Castro was considered for 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s running mate but didn’t get the spot. This time around, he decided to run for president himself.
Castro entered the race on Jan. 12 and ran on a platform of “People First.” He laid out a plan for education, but he focused primarily on law enforcement with progressive plans for policing and immigration.
He won praise for being the first to commit to a comprehensive immigration reform platform while other candidates shied away. As a descendant of Mexican immigrants, Castro hoped to ease the road to citizenship for others coming to the United States. “All undocumented immigrants, except for those with serious criminal records, would be able to get on a path to citizenship,” Castro told Mother Jones in May.
Castro said he would decriminalize unauthorized border crossing and prioritize transparent diplomacy with Central and South America. He also said he would not abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement entirely, but rather split it up into other departments, placing enforcement at the Department of Justice.
Castro had three goals for improving methods of policing in the U.S.: End over-aggressive tactics and combat racially discriminatory policing; hold police accountable for their misconduct; and start the healing process between communities and law enforcement.
He backed policies that would implement a national standard for police conduct, invest in civilian oversight boards and require more accountability within police departments.
Castro’s education plan would “bridge the gap both in access and achievement,” by investing in competitive jobs for educators, creating a public universal pre-K program and resolving the student debt crisis.
Castro pledged to visit all 50 states shortly after announcing his run for office. He was also the first candidate to visit Flint, Michigan, because he said he wanted to let them know “that we haven’t forgotten about them,” HuffPost previously reported.
“As someone from a state that’s largely been ignored by presidential campaigns for most of the past four decades, I know how much it means for folks to have a chance to be heard by the men and women seeking to become their President,” Castro wrote on his campaign website.