Democrat Julian Castro is in New Hampshire for the first time as a presidential candidate, and his message to voters is that he believes "everyone counts."
Castro, who announced his run for the presidency on Saturday, spoke at the latest installment of "Politics & Eggs" on Wednesday morning. The series is a forum for political leaders, commentators and presidential candidates.
"Here in New Hampshire, y'all take your politics as seriously as we take our barbecue in Texas," he said.
Castro drew applause when he promised to enact universal pre-K as president. New Hampshire has long prided itself on not having a sales tax, and only recently began providing significant state money for full-day Kindergarten.
The 44-year-old Texan served as the lead of the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration and mayor of his hometown San Antonio. During his speech on Wednesday morning, Castro also spoke about the American dream and his experience as a second-generation Mexican-American who had the opportunity to go to Harvard Law School.
Castro, who does not have a lot of name recognition in New Hampshire, said he is seeking to implement affordable housing and universal health care. He said he will roll out the proposals, including how to pay for them, in the coming months, but added he is looking for higher taxes on the nation's wealthiest.
"We need to aim in this 21st century to be the smartest, healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation on Earth," Castro told NBC10 Boston.
Castro also visited an addiction treatment facility in Laconia on Wednesday. New Hampshire is among the hardest-hit states in the nation's opioid epidemic.
"Politics & Eggs," a Granite State tradition for many White House hopefuls, is hosted at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester.