Marking a first for Hispanics, the Democratic party has chosen the mayor of San Antonio to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.
The party announced Tuesday that Mayor Julian Castro will deliver the high-profile, prime-time address on the convention's opening night, Sept. 4., in Charlotte, N.C.
First lady Michelle Obama will also address convention delegates — and a nationwide television audience — on the same night.
Castro, 37, is the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city and the first Hispanic selected to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic convention.
President Barack Obama is banking on Hispanic support in battleground states like Florida, Colorado and Nevada as he seeks to break away from Republican rival Mitt Romney. The race remains deadlocked less than four months before Election Day, though polls show Obama with a sizable lead over Romney among Hispanic voters.
The late-summer party conventions will set the tone for the fall campaign blitz. Obama will accept his party's nomination the first week in September, while Romney will get the Republican nod in Tampa, Fla., a week earlier.
As keynote speaker, Castro will step into the same role that propelled Obama into the national political spotlight. Then a little-known state lawmaker running for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, Obama delivered the convention keynote in 2004, winning wide praise from Democrats as a rising star in the party.
Madeleine Brand talks to local reporter Julian Aguilar, who spoke with Castro this morning, to find out more about what this may mean for Latino voters and the rest of the country.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Julian Aguilar is a reporter for the Texas Tribune.