San Antonio Rep. Joaquin Castro loses bid to lead House Foreign Affairs Committee

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WASHINGTON — San Antonio Rep. Joaquin Castro on Thursday was defeated in his attempt to become chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, losing out to New York Rep. Gregory Meeks in a vote of the House Democratic conference.

The Texan congratulated Meeks, saying he looked forward to working together on “common goals such as promoting diversity at the U.S. State Department and rejoining the Iran nuclear deal.”

“We must rebuild America’s infrastructure of diplomacy, and I believe that the United States, at its best, can be a north star in the world on issues like freedom, democracy, rooting out corruption, and human rights,” Castro said in a news release.

Castro — whose twin, Julián, is a former San Antonio mayor and former U.S. housing secretary — had focused his bid on a progressive vision for foreign policy.

“It’s mostly talking about issues through a foreign policy lens that haven’t always been discussed as foreign policy,” he said recently, citing the “threat of climate change, what to do about climate refugees, the rights of indigenous people and the rights of women around the world.”

But Castro, who was just reelected to a fifth term, lacked Meeks’ seniority, making his campaign to lead the panel an uphill one.

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