Joaquín Castro

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For others with the same surname, see Castro (surname). For other uses, see Castro (disambiguation).
Joaquín Castro
Joaquin Castro, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Charlie Gonzalez
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 125th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 14, 2013
Preceded by Art Reyna
Succeeded by Justin Rodriguez
Personal details
Born (1974-09-16) September 16, 1974 (age 42)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Relations Julian Castro (twin brother)
Children One daughter & one son

Maria "Rosie" Castro

Jessie Guzman
Alma mater Stanford University (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Website House website

Joaquín Castro (born September 16, 1974)[1] is an American politician who has served since 2013 in the United States House of Representatives for Texas's 20th congressional district. The district includes just over half of his native San Antonio, Texas, as well as some of its nearby suburbs. From 2003 to 2013, he was a representative in the Texas House of Representatives for District 125.[2] While in the Texas legislature Castro served as Vice-Chair of the Higher Education Committee and was a member of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee. He has previously served on the County Affairs Committee, Border & International Affairs Committee and the Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee.[2]

Julián Castro, his identical twin brother, served as Mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014 and is now the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Cabinet of President Barack Obama.[3]

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Castro was born and reared in San Antonio and attended Thomas Jefferson High School. Castro has stated that his interest in public service developed at a young age from watching his parents' involvement in political campaigns and civic causes. His father, Jessie Guzman, was a retired mathematics teacher from the Edgewood Independent School District in the west side of San Antonio, and his mother, Marie "Rosie" Castro, a community activist. Jessie and Rosie never married. He graduated with honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communications and earned a Juris Doctorate with his twin brother at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[4] After law school, the two brothers continued together to work for the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld before starting their own firm in 2005.[5]

He worked in public education, health care, and the juvenile justice system.[4] Castro is a member of the National College Advising Corps, St. Mary's University Mission and Identity Taskforce, St. Philip's College President's Advisory Board, and Texas Family Impact Seminar.

Texas House of Representatives[edit]


Castro ran for Texas's 125th House district in 2002. He defeated incumbent State Representative Arthur Reyna in the Democratic primary 64-36 percent.[6] In the general election, he defeated Republican Nelson Balido, 60-40 percent. He was twenty-eight at the time of his election to the state House.[7] In 2004, he won re-election to a second term unopposed.[8] In 2006, he won re-election to a third term, defeating Republican Nelson Balido, 58%-38%.[8] In 2008, he won re-election to a fourth term unopposed.[8] In 2010, he won re-election to a fifth term, defeating Libertarian Jeffrey Blunt, 78%-22%.[8]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • County Affairs
  • Higher Education (Vice Chair)[9]
  • Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
  • Oversight of Higher Ed Governance, Excellence & Transparency[10]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


In June 2011, Castro announced that he was running for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in the newly-drawn Texas's 35th congressional district. He was initially set to challenge fellow Democrat and nine-term incumbent Lloyd Doggett, whose home in Austin had been drawn into the district, in the Democratic primary[11] However, on November 28, after Charlie Gonzalez of the neighboring 20th District announced his retirement after seven terms, Castro announced his intent to run instead for the 20th District seat. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, all but assuring him of being the next congressman from this heavily Democratic, Hispanic-majority district. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, he introduced his brother Julián as keynote speaker.[9] In November 2012, Castro defeated Republican David Rosa 64%-34%.[12] becoming only the fifth person to represent this district since its creation in 1935.


Representative Castro preparing to deliver a keynote speech at LULAC.

Castro was officially sworn into office on January 3, 2013 becoming a member of the 113th United States Congress. He was chosen as the president of the freshman class of Democrats in the 113th Congress.[13] In the 114th Congress, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer named Castro a Chief Deputy Whip.[14] During the 2016 presidential election, Castro served as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton's campaign.[15]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Representative Joaquin Castro and his twin brother, then-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro at the LBJ Presidential Library.

Castro is the son of Jesse Guzman and Rosie Castro and the identical twin brother of Julián Castro, the former Mayor of San Antonio and the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Cabinet of President Barack Obama.[3] In addition to his work in the Texas Legislature, Castro practices law in San Antonio. He has also taught as a visiting professor of law at St. Mary's University and as an adjunct professor at Trinity University in San Antonio.

Castro sits on several boards of nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education, including: Achieving the Dream, the National College Advising Corps, St. Phillip's College President's Advisory Board, St. Mary's University Mission and Identity Taskforce, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' (NALEO) Taskforce on Education.[4]

In early summer of 2013, Castro became engaged to his girlfriend, Anna Flores. The announcement was made by his twin brother, Julian, on his Facebook page.[17] The couple had a daughter in December 2013,[18][19] and welcomed a son in February 2016.[20]

Honors and awards[edit]

Representative Castro speaking at a campaign event.

National and international honors[edit]

  • Delegate, American Swiss Foundation's Young Leaders Conference, Basel, Switzerland, 2010
  • Delegate, San Antonio, Texas, Delegation to World Expo, Shanghai, China, 2010
  • Delegate, American-German Young Leaders Conference, hosted in Berlin by the American Council on Germany, 2009
  • Delegate, International Seminar on Migration and Integration, hosted in Jerusalem by the Consulate General of Israel, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV), the Aharon Ofri International Training Center, and the Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI), 2008
  • Delegate, International Cultural Exchange, hosted in Argentina by the American Council of Young Political Leaders, 2008
  • Arthur S. Flemming Fellow, Center for Policy Alternatives, Washington D.C., 2004

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • Hispanic Organization for Public Employees Amazing Energy Award, in recognition of distinguished public service, 2009
  • Family Service Association Recognition, in recognition of support and commitment to key initiatives that strengthen and keep families together, 2009
  • The Wind Coalition Outstanding Supporter, in recognition for outstanding support of Texas Wind Energy, 2008
  • Certificate of Participation, in recognition of participation in the Get To Know Your Community Fair, 2008
  • Edgewood Independent School District (Bexar County, Texas) Business Partnership Award, 2007
  • West SA Chamber of Commerce Doctoral Achievement Awards, in recognition of outstanding community leadership, 2007
  • Rhodes Technology Academy National Junior Honor Society, for recognizing and promoting the important qualities of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, Character, and Citizenship, 2007
  • Recognized by VIA Metropolitan Transit, in recognition of legislative support in the 80th Legislative Session, 2007
  • Appreciation Award by Women's Equality Day Banquet, in recognition of being the Keynote Speaker for the Kelly Field Club, 2006
  • Northside ISD Campus Partner of the Year, in recognition of service to students at Sul Ross Middle School by Northside Independent School District, 2006
  • University Health System Appreciation Award, in recognition of contributions to the University Health System's 2005 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, 2005
  • Recognized by TEX-21 Legislative Caucus, in honor of being an active leader and commitment to improve multimodal transportation for the citizens of Texas, 2005
  • National Kidney Foundation Chair's Partnership Award, in recognition of generosity and commitment to making lives better, 2005
  • Appreciation Award by Women's Equality Day Banquet, in recognition of being the Keynote Speaker for the Kelly Field Club, 2004
  • Appreciation Award by Ogden Elementary School, in recognition of promoting literacy in the community, 2004
  • Recognized by Via Metropolitan Transit, in recognition of contributions made during the 78th Legislative Session, 2003
  • Appreciation Award by Center for Health Care Services, in recognition of leadership during the 78th Legislative Session, 2003
  • Recognized by the Latino Youth Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, in recognition of steadfast commitment to Latino youth and the empowerment of the Latino community, 2003
  • Hispanic Affairs Agency Bravo Award, in appreciation for speaking at the Latino Leadership Symposium, University of Texas at Austin, 2003

Public speaking engagements[edit]

Notable speaking engagements[edit]

Representative Castro takes part in an education panel at the Texas Association of Business Conference.


  • 5th Annual National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) National Summit on the State of Latino Education, September 2009
  • 26th Annual National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Conference, President Barack Obama’s Education Plan: How the New Administration Plans to Improve Educational Opportunities for Latinos, June 2009
  • New American Alliance (NAA) Pension Fund Forum, sponsored by the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), August 2007
  • The American Council of Young Political Leaders—United States delegate to South America, Argentina, and Uruguay, June 2007
  • Urban Libraries Council Conference, Local Strategies for Inclusion & Integration in a Flat World, May 2007
  • People for the American Way, The Young Elected Officials Network, March 2007
  • Take Back America Conference, Center for Policy Alternatives, June 2006
  • National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)—Chair of Higher Education Panel: "Working Together to Ensure Student Access and Success," June 2006
  • National Latino Congreso, "NAFTA: The Border, Our Environment, and Latinos," September 2006


  1. ^ Project Vote Smart - Representative Joaquin Castro - Biography
  2. ^ a b Texas House of Representatives membership summary
  3. ^ a b Gillman, Todd J (25 July 2014). "Julián Castro to take office Monday as Housing Secretary". Dallas Morning News. 
  4. ^ a b c Member biography, Texas state legislature
  5. ^ "TRIBPEDIA: Julián Castro". "The Texas Tribune". Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Garrett, Robert T. (September 4, 2012). "With his twin brother in the spotlight, Joaquin Castro prepares for prominent role of his own". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Ramshaw, Emily (June 24, 2011). "Castro To Take On Doggett for New Congressional Seat — 2012 Congressional Election". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Joaquin Castro Elected President of Democrat Freshmen of 113th Congress". Fox News. January 7, 2013. 
  14. ^ French, Lauren (9 March 2015). "Joaquin Castro climbs higher in Democratic leadership". Politico. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  15. ^ Shapiro, Ari (1 March 2016). "Rep. Joaquin Castro On Hillary Clinton's Campaign After Super Tuesday". NPR. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ United States Embassy to Latvia, Riga

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Art Reyna
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 125th district

Succeeded by
Justin Rodriguez
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charlie Gonzalez
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Matt Cartwright
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Chris Collins
R-New York