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Julian Castro says holding Iowa's Caucus first 'doesn't make sense'

KCCI Des Moines logo KCCI Des Moines 11/12/2019
a group of people posing for the camera: Julian Castro says holding Iowa's Caucus first 'doesn't make sense' © Provided by Hearst Television, Inc. Julian Castro says holding Iowa's Caucus first 'doesn't make sense'

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro told Iowans on Monday that the state should no longer be first in the nation for caucuses.

Speaking in Cedar Rapids, Castro said New Hampshire, the first state to hold a primary, should join Iowa in making way for more diverse states next go-around.

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"We can't say to black women, 'Oh, thank you, thank you, you're the ones that are powering our victories in places like Alabama,' in 2018, and then turn around and start our nominating contest in the two states that have barely any black people in them," Castro said. "I mean, that doesn't make sense."

Since 1972, the Iowa caucuses have marked the first step for Democrats hoping to become president.

Iowa became first for Republicans in 1976.

In recent years, some have argued Iowa is too demographically dissimilar from the rest of the country to have such an outsized role.

According to U.S. Census, Iowa is 85% white while the U.S. overall is just 60% white.

Just 4% and 6% of Iowans are black and Latino, respectively, compared to 13% and 18% nationwide.

"My hope is that, in the years to come, that we will give other states a chance," Castro said.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price said Castro's comment is, "surprising, seeing as the candidate signed a pledge to keep Iowa first in the nation.

Price said Iowans take their responsibility seriously and that "all candidates that come through Iowa and New Hampshire will be stronger and better prepared for the general election because of the strong history of grassroots organizing and retail politics" in both states.

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