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Joaquin Castro

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Joaquin Castro
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byCharlie Gonzalez
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 125th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byArt Reyna
Succeeded byJustin Rodriguez
Personal details
Born (1974-09-16) September 16, 1974 (age 49)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Anna Flores
(m. 2013)
RelativesJulian Castro (twin brother)
EducationStanford University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Joaquin Castro (born September 16, 1974)[1] is an American lawyer and Democratic politician who has represented Texas's 20th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 2013. The district includes just over half of his native San Antonio. He currently serves on the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

From 2003 to 2013, Castro represented the 125th district in the Texas House of Representatives.[2] While in the state legislature, he served as vice-chair of the Higher Education Committee and was a member of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee. He also previously served on other committees, such as County Affairs, Border & International Affairs, and Juvenile Justice & Family Issues.[2]

Joaquin served as campaign chair for his identical twin brother, Julian Castro, during his 2020 presidential campaign.[3][4]

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Castro was born and raised in San Antonio and attended Memorial High School. He was born a minute after his twin brother Julian.[5] He has said 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, is a retired mathematics teacher from the Edgewood Independent School District on San Antonio's west side, and his mother, Marie "Rosie" Castro, is a community activist. Jessie and Rosie never married. Castro's mother named him after Rodolfo Gonzales's poem I Am Joaquin.[6] He graduated with honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communications and earned a Juris Doctor with his twin brother at Harvard Law School.[7] After law school, the brothers both worked for the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld before starting their own firm in 2005.[8]

Texas House of Representatives[edit]


Castro ran for Texas's 125th House district seat in 2002. In the Democratic primary, he defeated incumbent Representative Arthur Reyna, 64% to 36%.[9] In the general election, he defeated Republican nominee Nelson Balido, 60% to 40%. He was 28 at the time of his election.[10] In 2004, he was reelected unopposed.[11] In 2006, he was reelected to a third term, defeating Balido, 58% to 38%.[11] In 2008, he was reelected to a fourth term unopposed.[11] In 2010, he was reelected to a fifth term, defeating Libertarian Jeffrey Blunt, 78% to 22%.[11]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • County Affairs
  • Higher Education (Vice Chair)[12]
  • Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
  • Oversight of Higher Ed Governance, Excellence & Transparency[13]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


In June 2011, Castro announced his candidacy for the newly drawn Texas's 35th congressional district's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. 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,[14] but on November 28, after Charlie Gonzalez of the neighboring 20th district announced his retirement after seven terms, Castro announced that he would run instead for the 20th district seat. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, all but assuring him of winning the general election in this heavily Democratic, Hispanic-majority district. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, he introduced his brother Julián as keynote speaker.[12] In November, Castro defeated Republican nominee David Rosa 64%-34%.[15] becoming only the fifth person to represent this district since its creation in 1935.

In 2017, San Antonio Express-News columnist Bruce Davidson questioned Castro's decision not to enter the 2018 U.S. Senate race against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, a 2016 presidential candidate. Davidson predicted that Castro could have defeated the announced candidate, Beto O'Rourke, representative of Texas's 16th congressional district based in El Paso, for the Democratic nomination. "Castro is said to be ambitious, but will he ever have a better chance to move up than in the Trump-era against Ted Cruz?," Davidson wrote. He added that Texas's other senator, Republican John Cornyn, would have taken advantage of a similar opportunity to run. In 2002, Cornyn, the state's then one-term attorney general, filed to succeed retiring Republican Senator Phil Gramm, while two other Republican hopefuls, Henry Bonilla of Texas's 23rd congressional district and David Dewhurst, the land commissioner and later the lieutenant governor, vacillated and lost their chances to become a senator. Bonilla was defeated for House reelection after redistricting in 2006, and Dewhurst lost the 2012 Republican runoff Senate election to Cruz.[16]


Representative Castro preparing to deliver a keynote speech at LULAC.
Castro with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe in August 2015

Castro was 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.[17]

In the 114th Congress, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer named Castro a Chief Deputy Whip.[18] During the 2016 presidential election, Castro served as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton's campaign.[19] He was selected as chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for the 116th Congress.[20]

On January 12, 2019, Castro introduced and endorsed his twin brother, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, at the launch rally of Julián's 2020 presidential campaign.

In February 2019, Castro authored House Joint Resolution 46[21] to overturn Trump's declaration of a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States, under which Trump said he would divert funds from other sources to construct a wall along the U.S. and Mexico border.[22] The bill passed the House by a vote of 245–182 on February 15, and the Senate by a vote of 59–41 on March 15.[23][24] Trump vetoed the Joint Resolution on March 15.[25]

In August 2019, Castro tweeted the names and employers of 44 San Antonio residents who had given the maximum allowable contribution to Trump's reelection campaign. He said it was "sad to see so many San Antonians" whose "contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as 'invaders'."[26] The information came from publicly available lists published by the Federal Election Commission. Republicans denounced the tweet, saying that such a "target list" invites harassment and could even encourage violence.[27]

In July 2020, following House Foreign Affairs Committee chairperson Eliot Engel's defeat for reelection, Castro declared his candidacy for chair. The other candidates were the eventually victorious Gregory Meeks and Brad Sherman, who had defeated former chairperson Howard Berman in a 2012 primary.[28][citation needed]

On January 12, 2021, Castro was named an impeachment manager (prosecutor) for Trump's second impeachment trial.[29]

Castro was among the 46 Democrats who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[30]

Castro votes with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight analysis completed in January 2023.[31]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Representative Joaquin Castro (left) and his twin brother, then-San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (right), 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;[4] he is one minute younger than Julián.[36] In 2019, Joaquin grew a beard so that people could distinguish him from his brother.[37]

In 2013, Castro became engaged to Anna Flores. Julián Castro made the announcement on his Facebook page.[38] The couple had a daughter in 2013,[39][40] a son in 2016,[41] and a second daughter in 2022.[42]

Other work and board memberships[edit]

While in the Texas Legislature, Castro practiced law in San Antonio. He has also been a visiting professor of law at St. Mary's University and an adjunct professor at Trinity University in San Antonio.[43] He sits on several boards of nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education, including the National College Advising Corps.


In February 2023, Castro had surgery to remove neuroendocrine tumors and described his prognosis as "good" afterward.[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vote Smart - The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Archived from the original on December 9, 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Texas House of Representatives membership summary". Archived from the original on October 18, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  3. ^ Merica, Dan (January 12, 2019). "Julián Castro officially announces 2020 presidential bid". CNN. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Gillman, Todd J (July 25, 2014). "Julián Castro to take office Monday as Housing Secretary". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on May 29, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  5. ^ "Not My Job: We Quiz The Secretary Of Urban Development On Urban Dictionary". July 16, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  6. ^ Castro, Julián (2018). Un Viaje Improbable. Little, Brown and Company. p. 32. ISBN 9780316252126.
  7. ^ Representatives, Texas House of. "Texas House of Representatives". house.texas.gov.
  8. ^ "TRIBPEDIA: Julián Castro". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX State House 125- D Primary Race - Mar 12, 2002". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX State House 125 Race - Nov 05, 2002". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  11. ^ a b c d "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ a b Garrett, Robert T. (September 4, 2012). "With his twin brother in the spotlight, Joaquin Castro prepares for prominent role of his own". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  13. ^ "Texas Legislature Online - 82nd Legislature - Information for Rep. Joaquin Castro". www.legis.state.tx.us.
  14. ^ Ramshaw, Emily (June 24, 2011). "Castro To Take On Doggett for New Congressional Seat — 2012 Congressional Election". Texas Tribune. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  15. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX District 20 Race - Nov 06, 2012". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  16. ^ Bruce Davidson, "Risk-averse Castro opts out of Senate run", San Antonio Express-News, May 14, 2017, F3.
  17. ^ "Joaquin Castro Elected President of Democrat Freshmen of 113th Congress". Fox News. January 7, 2013.
  18. ^ French, Lauren (March 9, 2015). "Joaquin Castro climbs higher in Democratic leadership". Politico. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  19. ^ Shapiro, Ari (March 1, 2016). "Rep. Joaquin Castro On Hillary Clinton's Campaign After Super Tuesday". NPR. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  20. ^ McPherson, Lindsey (November 30, 2018). "Congressional Hispanic Caucus Selects Joaquin Castro As Next Chairman". Retrieved August 29, 2019 – via www.rollcall.com.
  21. ^ "H.J.Res.46 - Relating to a national emergency declared by the President on February 15, 2019". Congress.gov. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  22. ^ "Joaquin Castro Files Legislation to Counter President Trump's National Emergency Declaration". Texas Monthly. February 22, 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  23. ^ "The Latest: House blocks Trump's emergency declaration". Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 27, 2019.
  24. ^ Cochrane, Emily; Thrush, Glenn (March 14, 2019). "Senate Rejects Trump's Border Emergency Declaration, Setting Up First Veto". The New York Times.
  25. ^ "Trump issues first veto of his presidency, says resolution 'put countless Americans in danger'". CNN. March 15, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  26. ^ Schouten, Fredreka (August 7, 2019). "Rep. Joaquin Castro tweets names, employers of Trump donors in San Antonio". CNN. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  27. ^ Sheth, Sonam (August 8, 2019). "Joaquin Castro was called 'dangerous' by Republicans for tweeting the names of Trump donors, but Democrats say people should be able to follow the money". Business Insider. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  28. ^ "Castro launches bid for House Foreign Affairs gavel". July 21, 2020. Archived from the original on July 22, 2020.
  29. ^ "Pelosi Names Impeachment Managers". Speaker Nancy Pelosi. January 12, 2021. Archived from the original on February 11, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  30. ^ Gans, Jared (May 31, 2023). "Republicans and Democrats who bucked party leaders by voting no". The Hill. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  31. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron; Wiederkehr, Anna (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  32. ^ "HPSCI Minority Members - U.S. House of Representatives". intelligence.house.gov. Archived from the original on January 28, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  33. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  34. ^ "Members". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  35. ^ "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  36. ^ "Not My Job: We Quiz The Secretary Of Urban Development On Urban Dictionary". NPR.org. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  37. ^ Hayes, Christal; Cummings, William. "'I'm not running for president!': Rep. Joaquin Castro hopes beard saves him from being confused with twin". USA TODAY. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  38. ^ Gonzalez, John W. (June 18, 2013). "Mayor says Congressman Castro engaged". mySA.
  39. ^ Source, The Reliable (December 15, 2013). "Love, etc.: Rep. Joaquin Castro and wife welcome a baby girl" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  40. ^ Joaquin Castro [@JoaquinCastrotx] (December 15, 2013). "Anna & I proudly welcoming our first child Andrea Elena in #SanAntonio this a.m. Thank you to all the well wishers!" (Tweet) – via Twitter./photo/1
  41. ^ Joaquin Castro [@JoaquinCastrotx] (February 2, 2016). "Anna and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our son, Roman Victor Castro" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  42. ^ Ibañez, David (May 3, 2022). "U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro announces birth of baby girl". KSAT. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  43. ^ Baugh, Josh (September 24, 2015). "Castro brothers' legacy still being written". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  44. ^ Papp, Justin (February 27, 2023). "Rep. Castro prognosis 'good' after surgery for gastrointestinal tumors". Roll Call. Retrieved February 27, 2023.

External links[edit]

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

Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th congressional district

Preceded by Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by