On the passing of Gov. Raul Castro:
We have lost a gem of a man, an Arizona treasure, a trailblazer so many of us from small copper mining and farming towns across Arizona took inspiration from.
As our first and only Mexican American Arizona governor, Raul Castro was a beacon of light and the living embodiment of “opportunity” for the Latino community in Arizona and beyond. A native of Cananea, located in Sonora, Mexico, Gov. Castro immigrated to Arizona and later became a U.S. citizen to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer. Against all odds and in the face of racial prejudices, he worked his way through school often in grueling physical environments, and went on to become Pima County attorney, a Superior Court judge and U.S. ambassador to El Salvador and Bolivia before being elected governor of Arizona in 1974. Two years later, while serving as governor, he was selected by President Carter to become U.S. ambassador to Argentina.
I count myself among those privileged to have met and known Gov. Castro. When giving lectures on civic engagement he would often encourage students by saying, “You have to be a participant. You can’t just be a follower. You’ve got to be active and motivated. You can’t always win, but at least give it a try.” Those words still ring true today. Gov. Castro not only leaves behind a rich legacy of service to our state and country, he has inspired many generations of leaders to carry the torch forward.
As we remember him and give him thanks, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Pat, his daughters, and members of his family.
Arizona Democratic Party chair
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