U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat, represents a portion of Bexar County that includes the cities of San Antonio and Leon Valley. The twin brother of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, Joaquin Castro previously served as a state representative.
Castro was born in San Antonio on Sept. 16, 1974. After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School, he attended Stanford University, where he graduated with honors in 1996. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he received his juris doctorate degree in 2000.
Castro's interest in public service developed at a young age from watching his parents' involvement in political campaigns and civic causes. He said his father, a retired teacher, and his mother, a community activist, instilled in him a deep respect for the democratic process.
First elected to the state House in 2002, Castro served five terms. He served as the vice chairman oft the House Higher Education Committee and was a member of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee.
Castro practices law in San Antonio. He has also taught as a visiting law professor at St. Mary's University and as an adjunct professor at Trinity University. He sits on several boards of nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education including Achieving the Dream, the National College Advising Corps, St. Phillip's College President's Advisory Board, St. Mary's University Mission and Identity Taskforce, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' (NALEO) Taskforce on Education.
Castro announced he was running for the U.S. House of Representatives in June 2011. At the time, it appeared he might run against longtime incumbent Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin. A new district, running from southeastern Travis County to San Antonio, was being drawn up in the Legislature, and both men indicated they’d take up residence within its boundaries in order to make the run.
Federal courts intervened, and a panel of judges threw out the Legislature’s maps, drawing new, interim districts that meant Doggett’s Austin-centered district would not be split 5 ways, and a new San Antonio district, CD-20, would mirror the boundaries of Castro’s state House district.
Castro ran unopposed in the 2012 Democratic primary. He defeated Republican David Rosa, Green Party candidate Antonio Diaz and Libertarian Party candidate A.E. Potts in the 2012 general election.
Along with his brother, Joaquin Castro is considered a rising star in Texas politics, and on Sept. 4, he introduced his brother, who delivered the keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Julián Castro is the first Hispanic from either party to give the keynote address.