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Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro Campaigns With Andrew Gillum Across South Florida

Sam Turken
Julián Castro, the former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, campaigned with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum across South Florida on Saturday. "

The former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro says Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum can bring Democrats together and improve health care and public education across the state. 

Gillum campaigned with Castro across South Florida on Saturday as part of his statewide bus tour before the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

In an interview with WLRN, Castro—who is considering running for president in 2020—praised Gillum's honesty and progressive platform. 

"Andrew is exactly what we need right now in public service," Castro said after speaking about Gillum at a voter outreach summit in Opa-Locka on Saturday. "He wants to invest in all of the things that folks need to thrive in the 21st century—good public education, good healthcare, making sure that we invest in all neighborhoods so that people can rise up and reach their dreams."

Gillum has already received support from the Democratic billionaires Tom Steyer and George Soros and rallied with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders last week. He is running on a platform that calls for Medicare for all, a steep corporate-tax increase to pay for a rise in public education spending and a minimum wage of $15 per hour.

The Tallahassee mayor is facing challenges from Gwen Graham, Philip Levine, Jeff Greene and Chris King among others. They too are holding campaign rallies and relying on a final blitz of television ads as the state primary approaches. 

A recent Florida Politics poll shows Graham in the lead with a two percentage point advantage over Levine with Gillum six points behind in third place.  

When asked if Gillum can win over independent and moderate voters in a general election against a Republican candidate, Castro said the candidate can appeal to voters across the spectrum.  

"He's been able to bridge the divide and I think that's the kind of governor that he would be—somebody who is bold and progressive and stands up for what he believes in, but also is able to do it in a way that brings people together instead of tearing people apart," Castro said. 

In addition to discussing Gillum, Castro also addressed questions about his own possible candidacy in the 2020 presidential election.

Castro said he will decide whether to run after the primaries in November. He noted that he recently campaigned for other candidates in Iowa and will soon travel to California and Nevada. 

"It's great to get out into the country into different places to hear what people are talking about. But I want to do what I can for people who are on the ballot in 2018 because—first things first—2018 is the most important thing," he said.  

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