DNC 2012: Julian Castro, San Antonio mayor, will give keynote speech


San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (L) stands on stage with his brother Joaquin Castro, Texas House of Representatives Democrat, on September 2, 2012 during preparations for the Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Joe Raedle

Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, will take the stage at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night to give the event's keynote speech.

At 37, Castro is one of the youngest politicians to be given the floor as the DNC's keynote, according to the Guardian. He'll also be the first Latino to give the talk at the Democratic Party forum — though Castro pointed out to the Guardian that "he is not the first Hispanic to deliver a keynote address at a party convention — Katherine Ortega did so at the 1984 Republican National Convention."

Though Castro isn't yet widely known on the national political stage, he has served the state of Texas in various roles for over 10 years, according to ABC News, and has built a solid reputation within his party. Time magazine named him among its “40 under 40” list of up-and-coming civic leaders. Castro is seeking a Congressional seat in November, according to the Associated Press.

Several comparisons have already been made between the potential for Castro to ascend politically after his DNC 2012 appearance and President Barack Obama's meteoric political rise after his address at the 2004 DNC.

Unsurprisingly, given his record to date, ABC describes Castro's story as "one of ambition, charisma and early success." According to ABC, Castro was "introduced to politics at an early age by his mother, Rosie, who was part of a movement in Texas that fought for Mexican American civil rights." Castro's mother, who raised her sons as a single parent, worked as an activist and organizer, though her own attempts at political posts were not successful.

The story has been different for Castro and his identical twin brother, Joaquin — also a Texas politician — who will introduce Castro at the convention, the AP reported.

Castro has a law degree from Harvard, and also attended Stanford, Reuters reported. His grandmother came to the United States from Mexico in 1920, Reuters said. The news outlet also reported that Castro's Spanish isn't fluent, though he does understand the language well.

According to the San Antonio government website, Castro's local policy efforts have focused on new energy initiatives, investing in inner-city neighborhoods, and increasinging student attainment in school. The Atlantic predicted that Castro's speech at the DNC will emphasize education, "an issue near and dear to him."

More from GlobalPost: Lilly Ledbetter at DNC via Washington, Possum Trot