Julian Castro’s family is comprised of his wife, Erica Lira Castro, his two children, Carina and Cristian, his brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro, his mother, Rosie, and several more extended family members.
Castro, who announced that he would be running for president on January 12, is a third-generation American whose grandmother immigrated to America.
Here’s what you need to know about his family:
1. Julian Castro Has Been Married to Erica Lira Castro Since 2007; They Have Two Children
Julian Castro has been married to his wife, Erica Lira Castro, since 2007. They have two children together: Carina Victoria, who was born in 2009, and Cristian Julian, who was born in 2014.
Erica Lira Castro has a background in education, a passion that she held onto from an early age. To The San Antonio Express News in 2009, she said, “I don’t think I’m unlike other women of my generation. I want a marriage, children, my own career and a chance to participate in public service. I think we can have it all.”
Lira Castro taught math for over 10 years, but she currently works as an education consultant, according to The Dallas Morning News.
2. Castro Is a Third-Generation American; His Grandmother Immigrated to America From Mexico
In his presidential announcement speech on January 12, Castro spoke about his American origin story, detailing how his grandmother came to the country a hundred years ago.
Castro said, via CNN, “When my grandmother got here almost a hundred years ago, I’m sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for President of the United States of America.”
CNN further reports that Castro’s grandmother was named Victoria Castro, and she was born in the Mexican border state of Coahuila. She crossed into the U.S. after her parents died during the Mexican Revolution, per CNN. Castro said of his grandmother’s true American dream story, “My family’s story is a testament to what is possible when this country gets it right.”
3. Castro’s Twin Brother, Joaquin, Is a U.S. Congressman & His Campaign Chairman
Castro’s twin brother, Joaquin, is a politician as well: he has served as the U.S. congressman for Texas’ 20th District since 2013. Joaquin is married to Anna Flores; they’ve been together for five years.
According to CNN, Joaquin will serve as his brother’s campaign chairman during his 2020 run, in addition to serving out his duties as congressman.
Joaquin and Julian are identical twins who were born one minute apart. In December, they appeared together on the Stephen Colbert show, and when Colbert asked Castro about his 2020 plans, Joaquin interrupted and said via The Washington Post, “I’ll speak on his behalf here. He’s going to run for president. How about that? For the FEC lawyers: He didn’t say it! I said it.”
Castro then added, “I’m excited. It’s going to be, I think, a great journey. As you know, I think the country needs new leadership, now more than ever.”
4. Castro’s Mother, Rosie, Is an Activist
According to Dallas News, Castro’s mother, Rosie Castro, has a history of activism. She was a member of La Riza Unida, a political party in the 1970s that pushed for better housing opportunities for Mexican-Americans.
Rosie met Castro’s father, Jesse Guzman, during her activism; they never married, the publication reports, and were separated by the time the twins were eight years old.
To the San Antonio News, Rosie said of her activism work, “We believed in trying to make a difference by getting involved politically. That wasn’t radical — that was the promise of America.”
Of her relationship with Guzman, Rosie said to the newspaper, “We were soul mates in a lot of ways because we were both in the movement. We had a lot in common — the struggles of our people, the idea of self-determination.”
5. Castro’s Children Are Often Front & Center at His Events
Castro’s children have made appearances at many of his public events, and his daughter in particular went viral when her three-year-old self flipped her hair back and forth in 2012 at one of his speeches.
The video (as seen above quickly spread through the internet. Via The San Antonio News, a number of publications and reporters acknowledged the adorable moment:
“‘There’s something about a little girl looking up at the big screen and loving her hair,” ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer purred, referring to Castro’s daughter Carina, 3, and the way she flipped her hair as she looked up at the camera.
“Judy Woodruff, who co-anchored PBS’ coverage, also said of the mayor and his mugging daughter: ‘He shared a little of that spotlight with his 3-year-old daughter, who was having fun seeing herself.’
“On NBC, anchorman Brian Williams smiled and noted: ‘Proving all over again there’s nothing quite like being a father of a daughter.'”