Castro opens campaign headquarters
Yesterday a small crowd gathered at the former Stop ‘N Go located at 3003 Broadway across from Lions Field for the grand opening of Julian Castro’s campaign headquarters. I’ve never been good at crowd estimates but I would guess around 200 people attended the opening. While the offices have been open for the past week or so yesterday’s event signaled the true beginning of the grassroots effort to elect Castro mayor in May. At the end of the event volunteers were trained for blockwalking, phone banking and a variety of other campaign tasks critical to any successful grassroots effort.
After a brief round of introductions and speeches, noted organzier Temo Figueroa, formerly of the Obama campaign, took the group through a training session to help organize the effort. Figueroa has been making the rounds of mayoral campaigns in Texas including Austin mayoral candidate Brewster McCracken. Having him assisting the Castro campaign will surely help mobilize a grassroots effort to help bring out voters in all areas of the city.
Notables at the gathering yesterday included US Rep. Charlie Gonzalez who MCed the event, State Rep. Joaquin Castro and former city council members Chip Haas, Patti Radle and Art Hall. During the speeches Castro also received the endorsement of the Deputy Sheriffs of Bexar County to be added to his earlier endorsement of the San Antonio Police Officers Association. As the weeks progress other labor organizations are also expected to line up in support of Castro for mayor.
In a column in Sunday’s Express-News Jaime Castillo noted that a poll recently conducted by Hamilton Campaigns of Washington, D.C. puts Castro ahead of the rest of the other mayoral candidates. In the poll of 400 likely voters Castro secured 38 percent of the vote with DeBerry-Mejia garnering 16 percent and Cibrian with 10 percent. 36 percent of the voters registered as undecided at this point in the race. When narrowed to Districts 8, 9, and 10 Castro held 31 percent of the vote with DeBerry-Mejia and Cibrian gathering 18 and 12 percent respectively.
Castillo also discusses the name recognition factors which map very closely to some of the comments I talked about yesterday in a posting about name recognition in general. Based on results of the poll Cibrian will have to spend a lot of early money to help repair negative opinion of her name. “While her name ID was a solid 54 percent, nearly as many respondents had an unfavorable opinion of her — 25 percent — as those who held a favorable view — 29 percent,” Castillo said.
With the race just getting started it is evident Castro holds a solid lead in organization, money and voter opinion, all factors that can be built upon as the weeks progress. At this point the race is Castro’s to lose but there’s still a lot of time before May 9.
As a final note, Castro also provided the crowd with the magic decoder ring for how to tell the twins apart. Look for the wedding band.