Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro talks with Julie Wittig, of Iowa City, Iowa, left, during a house party at the Ed and Jane Cranston home, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in North Liberty, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Castro vows to champion health care, housing during 2020 bid

January 07, 2019 - 9:22 pm

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) — Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is introducing himself to Iowa Democrats as a champion of universal health care and affordable housing as he moves toward a presidential campaign.

Castro spoke with party activists on Monday night at a house party in his first trip to Iowa since forming an exploratory committee last month. Castro indicated that he would announce his presidential campaign Saturday in San Antonio and said he looked forward to meeting with Iowa voters before the leadoff presidential caucuses next year.

Castro said he would lay out his vision for making the United States "the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation in the world."

He said his plans will include expanding Medicare to allow access for all and addressing rising rents.

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