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July 31 (Bloomberg) -- Democrats have tapped Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, Texas, as keynote speaker on the opening night of their presidential nominating convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. He will be the first Latino to serve that role at a Democratic National Convention.

The choice of Castro, announced today, reflects President Barack Obama’s push to energize Latino voters in the face of a slow economic recovery and waning support from some swing voters who backed him in 2008. First lady Michelle Obama also will speak on the convention’s opening night, Sept. 4, convention officials said.

While Texas isn’t expected to back Obama in November, Castro, 37, is seen as a rising star in his party and Texas as a future Democratic prospect as the Latino voting population there grows. Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

Castro, who is serving his second term as mayor, released a YouTube video announcing his speaking role, in which he recalls being inspired by Obama’s 2004 speech and says “I’ve got some big shoes to fill.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Margaret Talev in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at

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