Should President Obama win re-election or not, Democrats must start looking ahead to the 2016 election cycle. Who will run for the White House and represent the party in four years, pending he loses? Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton are both nearing the age where politicians are considered to be past their political prime. So who are the rising stars in the Democrat party? Political conventions are often the place where the next generation of candidates can be seen. And specifically, on stage, delivering keynote addresses.

These political convention speeches are often seen as a springboard for a party’s rising stars. In 2004, a young and relatively unknown Illinois state senator named Barack Obama was the keynote speaker at the Democratic convention in Boston. However, many remember Bill Clinton’s 1988 DNC debut. The future president’s speech was called “boring” and according to MSNBC, when Clinton used the phrase “in conclusion,” the audience cheered.

Tonight’s opening of the DNC in Charlotte features a couple of important speakers. Michelle Obama will be at the podium tonight, but the keynote address will be given by a man who is looked at by some as a rising star in the party. Meet San Antonio mayor Julian Castro.

San Antonio Mayor to Deliver DEMs Keynote Address

Credit: Getty Images

A few things you should know about Mayor Castro:

  • His name is pronounced hoo-lee-AHN
  • Castro is the grandchild of immigrants who came to America from Mexico
  • At 37, he is the youngest mayor of a top 50 American city
  • He also has an identical twin named Joaquin (currently running for Congress in Texas)
  • In 2009, Castro was elected Mayor and again in 2011 with an amazing 82.9% of the votes cast
  • Graduated from Stanford and Harvard Law (Castro credits Affirmative Action for getting him into Stanford despite his low SAT scores)

Mayor Castro appears to have a relatively spotless record, with one small exception. In 2005, then City Councilman Castro missed the big riverboat parade in San Antonio and his twin brother jumped on the boat instead.

San Antonio Mayor to Deliver DEMs Keynote Address

Photo: Screen capture from CNN video

CNN brought up the float incident in this profile that is currently running on the network.

Will he be the next Obama? We’ll have to wait and see.