As candidates continue to vie for votes ahead of next February’s caucuses, Democratic presidential hopeful Julian Castro visited Muscatine on Monday, July 15th. Over the course of his afternoon long visit, Castro took the time to learn about Muscatine and its history and shared some of his goals if he gets elected president.
Castro started his visit by taking a tour through the city. With the guidance of Mayor Diana Broderson, City Councilmember Kelcey Brackett, League of United Latin America Citizens (LULAC) President and State Director Nick Salazar, and Muscatine Community College LULAC Vice President and State Collegiate Secretary Daniel Salazar, Castro saw some of the city’s most important sights and spoke to many local business owners who helped teach him about Muscatine’s history. These local residents also spoke with Castro about current issues of interest, including this spring’s flooding and the cost of housing.
Following his tour, Castro and his guides ate dinner at Chicharo’s Tequila Bar. During his meal, Castro had the opportunity to meet the owners of Chicharo’s, Cesar and Monica Garrido, and found out abouthow they first came to Muscatine and became successful small business owners.
After dinner, Castro gave a speech to an audience of about fifty people at the Black Pearl Café. Castro began by introducing himself and sharing some of his story. He spoke about his experiences as a second-generation immigrant and how he and his family experienced the American Dream and want to share it with others. He also discussed how his experiences practicing law and serving on his local city council have prepared him to become a presidential candidate.
He then discussed several of his key campaign points. These included a variety of issues, including immigration reform, equal rights for people of all sexual orientations, addressing climate change by entering the Paris Accords, strengthening diplomatic relations with countries around the world, and making healthcare accessible to all through a combination of government and private plans. Castro also did his best to address the local questions and concerns people brought to him during his speech and to share how his administration would tackle those issues if he became president.
After Castro finished speaking, Daniel Salazar and others who had come to listen, shared they felt pleased that Castro had an opportunity to visit. Salazar elaborated, “I’m glad he came . . . he was very happy to be here. It was an interesting experience. Regardless of your views on him, [I] could [have been] standing next to the next president.”
Castro’s visit represents just one of the more recent visits by candidates to Muscatine this year. As the 2020 election cycle continues, many other candidates, like Castro, will continue to visit Muscatine and Muscatine County as they work to win over local voters. As Castro’s tour showed, area residents will benefit by getting to meet so many presidential candidates and will have a wealth of first-hand information when they go to caucus next winter.