- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro on Tuesday said his campaign saw a surge in fundraising after last week’s debate and that he’s closing in on the number of individual donors he needs to qualify for September’s debate.

“We had our best four fundraising days in the four days after the debate,” Mr. Castro, a former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “We’re up to about 116,000 unique donors … and we raised in the three or four days after that debate about a million dollars.”

Candidates need to prove they’ve gotten contributions from at least 130,000 donors, plus register 2 percent or more in at least four polls, to qualify for the third Democratic National Committee presidential debate in September.

Mr. Castro said he’s not going to be “anywhere near the top” in terms of fundraising, but that he had a “lot stronger” second quarter than first quarter, when he raised about $1.1 million.

“We’re going to capitalize on this momentum, staffing up, getting more organizers on the ground in these early states, and at the headquarters in San Antonio and just the ability to compete,” he said.

On the opening night of last week’s debate, Mr. Castro drew attention when he tangled with fellow Texan, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, on the issue of decriminalizing illegal border crossings.

“I just see this campaign getting stronger and stronger and stronger,” Mr. Castro said. “I have always said that I don’t want to be a flash-in-the-pan candidate. I want to build a campaign that gets stronger between now and February 3rd, 2020, [the date of the] Iowa caucuses, and that’s what’s happening.”

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