A tale of two brothers

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The guy in the scrubs is either a mayor or a state representative. The guy in the glasses is a reporter or a nerd or both.

You will never, ever, ever see me endorse a politician or political party on this blog. As a reporter, it would be unprofessional. As a hardcore cynic that finds idiots on both sides of the aisle, it would be out of character. But today, I will be watching the Democratic National Convention and two brothers that I met years ago in the Alamo City.

San Antonio mayor Julian Castro will be the keynote speaker tonight at the DNC. He will be introduced by his twin brother Joaquin, a Texas State Representative and candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. The Castro brothers are just 37, and this is a huge stage for such young political careers. 8 years ago, Senator Barack Obama became a national star with his keynote address. Now, politicos are saying the brothers could be following in his footsteps. Heck, this New York Times article suggests that Julian could be president one day. That sounds more than a bit premature, but what do I know?

The reason I’m so interested in the Castros’ national performance is because I got to know the brothers (on a very basic level) when I lived in San Antonio. I was a reporter at KABB from 2002-2006. We were all twenty-somethings then, and I would often run into one or both of the brothers at various social gatherings (the picture above is from a Halloween party. I’m 90% sure that’s Joaquin with a Gandhi-ized Joe V). I’m not saying we were buddies… more like friends of friends of friends. The kind of people you see at a party, chat with for about five or ten minutes and then move on. They wouldn’t remember me today- in their professions ALOT of people come and go. Still, it’s hard to forget those two.

Back then, the brothers were already local celebrities. They were both graduates of Harvard Law School. Julian was a city council member. Joaquin was elected to the state House. They were very nice and (not surpisingly) very bright guys. While they were identical twins, you could (after a few encounters) tell which one was Julian and which one was Joaquin. There were slight differences in their appearances and their personalities. While Julian was always very nice, I found him to be more reserved than his brother. Joaquin was a little more outgoing and gregarious. I can remember one Christmas Eve I was doing a story on “last minute Christmas shopping”. I was at the local mall, and there, checking off his list, was Representative Joaquin Castro (wearing a full suit as usual). I put him on the spot (in a fun way), asking him on camera if he also waited until the last minute when proposing a bill in the House. He laughed and insisted that he only procrastinated when it came to shopping. A lot of politicians would not appreciate an impromptu ribbing, but Joaquin was a good sport.

Anyways, fast forward six or seven years and it seems the sky is the limit for these two brothers. I’m very curious to see where their respective careers wind up. For a couple of guys in their 30s, I’d say they are off to a pretty good start.

A quick postscript: I don’t mean to tell tales out of school, but my family has another very brief link to the brothers. One Castro brother asked my future wife Jenny to go on a date back in 2002. We had just started dating at the time, so she politely said no and that was the end of that. Funny thing is, we can’t agree on which brother asked her out. She thinks it was Joaquin, but I could swear that it was Julian. Either way, she obviously made the right choice. She could have wound up with a future governor, senator or even president. Instead, she wound up with me. I’m sure she stands by her decision.

Editor’s note: This blog does not endorse or support any candidate be they Democrat, Republican or Lilliputian. If you would like to read some unsolicited political opinions, feel free to scan your Facebook news feed.

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