Julian Castro moves toward 2020 White House run

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro says he's taking a step toward a possible White House campaign in 2020 by forming a presidential exploratory committee. The Texas Democrat tells The Associated Press he'll announce a decision next month.

The move Wednesday gives the 44-year-old former San Antonio mayor an early start to what's shaping up as a crowded Democratic field without a clear front-runner to challenge President Donald Trump.

Castro was on the short list of running mates for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Talk of his 2020 candidacy has been eclipsed so far by bigger names, including Beto O'Rouke, a Texas congressman who lost last month to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

An exploratory committee lets potential candidates raise money and is usually a steppingstone to a formal campaign launch.