Julian Castro (Age 39)
By Scott Conroy
It may not have risen to the rhetorical heights of Barack Obama’s 2004 speech in Boston that electrified national Democrats, but Julian Castro’s keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention held great promise. In particular, it suggested that the sky’s the limit for the telegenic mayor of San Antonio. And when Castro earlier this year resigned his position at the helm of America’s seventh-largest city to become secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the move appeared to confirm that his sights are set on national elective office. If such a title can be said to exist this early in the game, Castro is widely considered the running mate frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee—particularly if Hillary Clinton is atop the ticket. Though Castro’s ties to the Hispanic community are deep, and he would help Democrats activate the Latino vote, he needs to work on his Spanish. “What I need to do one day is just to go to Mexico or Latin America for two months, but who has the time?” he told RealClearPolitics last year.