San Antonio mayor hopes DNC speech will relate to everyone

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro won't tell Channel 9 exactly what he'll talk about at the Democratic National Convention next month, but he has said that he'll spend some time talking about his upbringing. 

The 37-year-old is the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city and the first Hispanic to be selected as the keynote speaker for a DNC. Analysts say Castro's opportunity is a clear sign of the importance of the Hispanic vote to President Obama's re-election math in November.

While his presence may help bring in Latino voters, the question is, is he enough to sway their vote?

Hispanic leaders say Latinos are most concerned about the economy and immigration.

“Whether they're citizens, legal permanent residents, or undocumented, they want to make sure family members can stay here," said Latin American Coalition spokesman Armando Bellmas.

So far, Castro has not said if he'll talk about the economy but he did say he will tell his story of hard work and opportunity with hopes to not only sway Latinos, but all voters, especially the middle class.

"You know as long as I speak from my heart, and speak on the experience that I've had in life and the ones I've had as mayor, then I'll do a decent job," said Castro.

Bellmas said in order for any candidate to win the Latino vote, education is key. 

"Making sure they're registered is the first step, and then the second step is making sure they know that their vote counts," said Bellmas.

According to the Latin American Coalition, there are an estimated 115,000 registered voters in North Carolina. More than 10 percent of those are in Mecklenburg County.

For now, Castro won't get specific about his big speech, but said he's confident it will relate to everyone.