10 Democrats to Participate in Fifth Democrat Debate, Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro Misses Cut

Democratic presidential candidate former HUD Secretary Julian Castro speaks during the 2019 J Street National Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on October 28, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Julián Castro (D) did not meet the criteria to participate in the upcoming Democrat presidential debate slated for Wednesday, marking the first time the former San Antonio mayor will sit on the sidelines.

Wednesday’s Democrat Primary presidential debate, which will take place at the Tyler Perry Studio in Atlanta, Georgia, will feature 10 Democrat candidates. Castro will not be included, as he failed to fully meet the requirements – a harsh reality his campaign was forced to face last week. The news follows Castro’s not-so-subtle threat to drop out of the race altogether, pleading in a tweet last month, “if my campaign can’t raise $800,000 by October 31st, my campaign will be silenced for good.”:

Castro announced on November 1 that they “surpassed” their fundraising goal:

“We’re not going anywhere,” Castro’s campaign manager, Maya Rupert, said.

However, in recent weeks the Castro campaign has cut staffers in New Hampshire and South Carolina in order to focus on Iowa and Nevada – a similar strategy to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who continues to tank in the polls.

Despite missing the mark to participate in Wednesday’s debate, Castro’s campaign has not signaled an imminent departure from the race. Rather, Castro spokesman Sawyer Hackett suggested that Castro’s absence will be noticed.

“Debates are important to be able to draw contrasts with other candidates and to be able to highlight your vision,” Hackett said last week, according to the Texas Tribune.

“Secretary Castro has been a critical voice in each of the last debates, bringing up issues other candidates won’t address, like housing, education and policing,” Hackett said. “These issues would be lost without his voice on that debate stage.”

Ten candidates will take the stage at the MSNBC and Washington Post-hosted debate Wednesday evening. Those who qualify include:

  • Joe Biden (D)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D)
  • Andrew Yang (D)
  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Tom Steyer (D)

Moderators include MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s Kristen Welker, and the Post’s Ashley Parker. Some speculate that the ongoing impeachment inquiry, which has scheduled public hearings the day of the debate, will be a point of discussion.


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