RENO — Democratic presidential hopeful Julian Castro stumped through Northern Nevada on Saturday looking to build momentum following the candidates’ first debate.
At a Reno town hall hosted by the advocacy group Indivisible Northern Nevada, Castro highlighted major points of his campaign platform, including boosting funding for pre-kindergarten and K-12 education initiatives, criminal justice and police reforms and his multi-pronged proposal to address affordable housing — a pressing issue facing Reno as housing prices and rents continue to soar.
“We have to be smart when we do economic development. It’s not just a one-dimensional thing,” the former housing and urban development secretary told the crowd. “You can’t only think about the people that are going to be coming. You’ve got to think about the needs of the people who are already here.”
Part of Castro’s platform to address affordable housing issues includes a progressive renters’ tax credit that would aid low- and middle-income individuals and families with subsidies. His plan also calls for an additional $4 billion for the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, a fund used to build approximately 95 percent of all affordable housing units in Nevada each year.
Castro told reporters after the event that he plans to unveil how he would pay for that and other programs over the course of the campaign, but generally the money would come from repealing the Republicans’ tax cuts and increasing both the top marginal tax rate for wealthy Americans and the corporate tax rate.
Castro started his Saturday trek through Northern Nevada with a roundtable discussion on health care in West Wendover.
His campaign said his visit marked the first ever by a presidential candidate to the city of roughly 4,000 residents that sits on the Utah border. He followed that with a stop in Elko, where he marched with the Elko Democratic Party in the Basque Festival and 4th of July Parade. The visits make Castro the first of the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential field to make a campaign swing through any of Nevada’s rural counties.
Along the way, he picked up an endorsement from West Wendover’s 27-year-old mayor, Daniel Corona, who attributed his own political start to Castro’s 2012 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention.
“Julian inspired me that night, because he showed me that kids who grow up in communities like ours or families like ours could aspire to be anything they want to, whether it be the mayor of San Antonio or president of the United States,” Corona said in a video posted to Twitter on Saturday. “Today, Julian inspires me because he is a bold leader who is unafraid to show up in places that most presidential candidates would never (visit), whether it be the tunnels under the Las Vegas Strip or the city of West Wendover.”
‘Way too nice’
Sarah Favero, 57, of Hawthorne, said she was impressed with Castro’s performance in the debate last week. She showed up to the event two hours from her home to hear more about what he has to say.
Favero said she hasn’t made up her mind about the Democratic primary, and she wants to see somebody who is willing to stand up with President Donald Trump.
“I think so far the Democratic Party has been way too nice. Way too nice,” Favero said. “Can’t be nice anymore. It hasn’t gotten us anywhere.”
She said she wants a fearless candidate. “I want to see somebody who isn’t afraid to say President Trump’s name, and I want somebody who’s just going to go toe-to-toe with him.”