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Kamala Harris' Withdrawal From The Presidential Race Could Help Julián Castro

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT
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Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro.

From Texas Standard:

The last Texan in the presidential race, Julián Castro, lamented Tuesday about the dwindling number of  candidates of color vying for the Democratic nomination. Kamala Harris had just suspended her bid, and Castro chastised the media for contributing to candidates of color leaving the race.

Ironically, the comment seemed to motivate donors to support Castro's flagging campaign, leading to a better-than-normal day of fundraising for the former San Antonio mayor.  

Sonia Garcia, a professor of political science at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, says Castro criticized the media for applying different standards to Harris, an African American woman, and other candidates. She says the media criticized Harris for not having a clear message and for flip-flopping. Garcia says she doesn't believe those narratives are accurate.

"It's no surprise that women, especially women of color, are treated [with] a different standard – unlike men, unlike white women," Garcia says. "So there's this extra scrutiny placed on women of color."

Garcia says Harris enjoyed acclaim and high poll numbers for a time after the first Democratic debate. But later, she says the media started using a double standard to evaluate her performance. She says Castro, who is Latino, also experienced something of a double standard when it came to media coverage.

Garcia says the departure of candidates of color means there are fewer candidates who represent voters of color. But, she expects Castro, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, to benefit from Harris' withdrawal. 

Written by Shelly Brisbin.

Copyright 2019 KUT 90.5

Rhonda is the newest member of the KUT News team, joining in late 2013 as producer for KUT's new daily news program, The Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.