Rep. Gonzalez switches endorsement from Castro to Biden

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro on Sunday lost one of his congressional endorsements, with U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, switching his support to former Vice President Joe Biden.

Gonzalez was one of three Texas congressmen who endorsed Castro, joining Castro’s brother, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, and U.S. Rep. Collin Allred, D-Dallas.

“Throughout his career, Julián has been a champion for improving the lives of those he served — both in Texas and across the nation,” Gonzalez said in a statement released by the Castro campaign in March. “Having known Secretary Castro for years, I know firsthand his passion for expanding opportunity for the Latino community, people of color and historically disenfranchised communities, as well as his unparalleled dedication to building a bench of dynamic Democratic candidates in Texas and nationally. I’m proud to endorse his candidacy for President of the United States.”

But on Sunday, the Biden campaign released a statement from Gonzalez.

At this point in the process, I believe Democrats need to consolidate behind a candidate who is sure to beat Donald Trump,” Gonzalez said in the statement released on Sunday. “We need someone in the White House who will lead that fight, not only for South Texans, but for all hard working Americans who deserve a fair shot at the American Dream.

“Donald Trump attacks Latinos, working families, and so many others on a daily basis that some would say it is becoming the norm. We are in a battle for the soul of the nation and we need strong, steady and stable leadership in the White House. During Thursday’s debate in Houston, Vice President Joe Biden demonstrated statesmanship and leadership. He demonstrated the values and characters I know and respect, that voters are looking for in their candidate for President and that they too know and respect.”

Gonzalez said he switched his endorsement to support a candidate who has a legitimate shot of winning the Democratic nomination and the general election. Gonzalez joins his Rio Grande Valley colleague, U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, in choosing Biden over the two Texas presidential candidates, Castro and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

“Love ‘em,” Vela said at the time, “but I’m with Tio Joe.”