U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, considered a rising star in the Democratic party, will headline a campaign rally for Irvin Camacho and Grimsley Graham, candidates for state representative in northwest Arkansas. 

The event will be at the Rodeo of the Ozarks in Springdale on Friday, March 4. It’s free and open to the public. 


Castro was elected to the U.S. House in 2012, after serving five terms in the Texas legislature. Joaquin’s identical twin brother, Julián Castro — who served as mayor of San Antonio before being appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 2014 — has been floated as a potential VP pick for the eventual Democratic nominee.

Northwest Arkansas is Republican country, of course, but Democrats have been aiming to make inroads as demographics change, including both more urban transplants and more Hispanics.


Camacho of Sprindale is running against Republican Rep. Micah Neal; Graham of Rogers is challenging Republican Rep. Rebecca Petty (who topped Graham in 2014). 
Full press release from the Democratic Party of Arkansas after the jump: 

(SPRINGDALE) The Democratic Party of Arkansas is proud to announce that Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) will headline a campaign kickoff rally for Irvin Camacho and Grimsley Graham, candidates for State Representative in Northwest Arkansas. This event will be held at the Rodeo of the Ozarks Community Building in Springdale on Friday, March 4, 2016. The event is free, open to the public, and campaign volunteers will be on hand to register attendees to vote.

Congressman Joaquin Castro

Joaquin Castro was born in San Antonio, Texas. A second generation Mexican American, Joaquin has worked hard to seize the opportunities created by the sacrifices of his grandmother, Victoria, who came to Texas as a young orphan, and often worked two and three jobs at a time to be able to give her daughter (Joaquin’s mother, Rosie) and her grandchildren a better chance in life.

Joaquin Castro graduated with honors from Stanford University, attended Harvard Law School, and served five terms in the Texas legislature where he was at the forefront in proposing forward-thinking legislative reforms in the areas of mental health, teen pregnancy, and juvenile justice. In 2012, Joaquin was elected to serve in the U.S House of Representatives as representative of Texas Congressional District 20, which is the main district for San Antonio and Bexar County where he serves on the House Armed Services Committee, as well as the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He has also been named Chief Deputy Whip for House Democrats, charged with assisting in rallying members around important legislation.

Joaquin is married to Anna Flores, and they have one daughter, Andrea Elena Castro. Joaquin’s identical twin brother, Julián Castro, served three terms as Mayor of San Antonio until President Barack Obama appointed him as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 2014.

Joaquin’s respect for public service developed at a young age and was deeply influenced by his parents’ involvement in political movements and civic causes. His father, a retired teacher, and his mother, a renowned community activist, instilled in him a deep appreciation for the democratic process and the importance of community service.

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Irvin Camacho

Irvin Camacho announced his candidacy for House District 89, which centers around downtown Springdale. Irvin, a community organizer and activist, announced his candidacy in October of 2015 citing building a better relationship with voters and their elected officials and downtown growth and development. “I have spent my life speaking up for positive change in my city. I can take that advocacy to the next level as a policy maker and amplify the voices of the people in this district. Voters want leaders who share their values and perspective. If you see me in your neighborhood over the next year, don’t be surprised. I’m excited to run this race and hear the priorities and concerns of the voters in district 89.”

While attending Springdale High School, Camacho became very involved in the immigrant rights movement. He became Lead Coordinator for the Arkansas Natural DREAMers after graduating, a position he held for five years. Camacho has collaborated more recently with the United Community Coalition, chairing their iDREAM campaign, and helped more than 15 DACA clinics around the state. He is a frequent volunteer for other social justice organizations, and is currently employed as a customer service specialist in the Arvest mortgage department.

After an unprecedented string of shootings this spring, Camacho was inspired to organize a Peace Walk to unite the community against senseless violence and support the families and neighborhoods affected. The message of unity stuck a chord with the community, and more than 900 people of all backgrounds came together to participate.

Grimsley Graham

Grimsley Graham, a retired Rogers High School teacher, announced his candidacy for House District 94, which covers most of Northern and downtown Rogers, in October of 2015. In 2014, Graham lost a hard fought campaign for the same district. “I’m encouraged by the early support I’ve already recieved in my decision to run again. It won’t be easy, but this is a district worth fighting for. Together we can build a better Northwest Arkansas – a community where everyone is represented and our leaders work together to keep us moving forward. If elected, I will work tirelessly to make Benton County a better place to live and learn.

Though a Democrat hasn’t been elected in Benton County since the 1990s, Grimsley received widespread support and struck a positive and optimistic tone by pledging to be a consensus maker and an independent voice in Little Rock.

Grimsley is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he retired as a 1st Lieutenant after three years of active duty. He received a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Arkansas and has served as an Elder and Director of Education at the First Presbyterian Church of Rogers. He is a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels of Benton County and leads a stream team for the Beaver Watershed Alliance.