Maya Rupert, Black campaign manager for Julian Castro, wins praise despite his exit

"How I carry myself in this cycle will hopefully open doors for the next generation of black women who are going to be doing these jobs."

As the only Black woman running a major 2020 presidential campaign, Rupert made a mark on the political scene despite Castro dropping out

While many Democrats declared Julian Castro’s exit from the 2020 presidential race as a loss for diversity, others are still praising his campaign manager, Maya Rupert for her work on the election.

Rupert, 38, was the third Black woman presidential campaign manager in history, the only Black woman to lead a presidential campaign in the 2020 election cycle.

READ MORE: Julian Castro’s exit is latest blow to diversity of 2020 presidential candidate field

Rupert, a political strategist, writer and housing advocate, first met Castro when she worked in the Office of General Counsel while he was Secretary of HUD.

Rupert previously praised Castro for his support of reparations and his awareness of Black issues.

“He appreciates something I love, which is that the conversation about the black community cannot begin and end with criminal justice or policing,” Rupert told TheGrio in an interview last month.

“It is a big piece of what the community is dealing with, but it is nowhere close to everything that we need to be talking about.”

Castro, the only Latino candidate in the race for president, said if he could not raise enough money, he would end the bid for president.

@JulianCastro you & @MayaRupert have changed the conversation forever and for good. You’ve called for decriminalizing migration & bringing an intersection lens to policy making. Thank you for lifting the voices of those too often left behind and marginalized by politics as usual,” tweeted Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

READ MORE: Democrat Julián Castro drops out of 2020 presidential race

“Julián Castro along with his campaign manager, @MayaRupert, and everyone else on staff, ran a great campaign that was hurt majorly by factors beyond their control. Sad to see him go and sad to see the field become even whiter,” tweeted author Michael Arceneaux.

“I don’t know who needs to hear this but, give @MayaRupert her flowers now. And every time you see or hear from her,” tweeted Kirsten Allen, former Deputy National Press Secretary for Sen. Kamala Harris.

“This primary was historic not just because of the candidates but because of her and those like her who are giving is us Black operatives a shining example.”

Despite increasing recognition of the influence of Black women voters and strategists in the Democratic Party, Black women are still breaking down barriers in the political world.

Donna Brazile was the first African-American woman presidential campaign manager, when she led Al Gore’s run for office in 2000.  According to The Wall Street Journal, nearly 25 percent of senior aides and advisors to high-performing Democratic presidential campaigns this election cycle were “women of color.”

Rupert previously reflected on what her presence on the campaign meant for the Black community at-large.

READ MORE: Julián Castro: ‘I have the strongest vision for Black voters’

Being the only Black woman in this cycle running a presidential campaign is huge deal for me. It’s a huge honor,” Rupert told TheGrio. “It’s also, a huge responsibility.

“How I carry myself in this cycle will hopefully open doors for the next generation of black women who are going to be doing these jobs,” Rupert continued.

“While I’m the only black woman who’s running a campaign, there are a lot of black women who are working in a number of different campaigns. I found a really lovely sisterhood…We’re all working for different candidates, but, we’re all obviously rooting for each other as well.”

Watch our full interview with Maya Rupert below, and subscribe to TheGrio’s YouTube Channel for more #WokeVote2020 coverage.