By Allen Payton
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D, CA-15) was the first candidate to drop out of the race for president, when he made an announcement during a press conference at the Swalwell for American headquarters in his hometown of Dublin, on Monday. He was one of over 20 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination.
Swalwell has represented San Ramon in Contra Costa County, as well as the Tri Valley and other portions of Alameda County, since he was first elected, after beating 20-term incumbent and fellow Democrat Pete Stark in the 2012 primary election.
A member of the House Intelligence Committee, Swalwell had been calling for President Trump’s impeachment for the past year, and his main presidential campaign issue was an assault weapons ban.
In a statement on his presidential campaign website, Swalwell wrote,
I ran for President to win and make a difference in our great country — a difference on issues of the future such as finding cures for our deadliest and most debilitating diseases, taking on the student loan debt crisis, and ending gun violence. I promised my family, constituents, and supporters that I would always be honest about our chances. After the first Democratic presidential debate, our polling and fundraising numbers weren’t what we had hoped for, and I no longer see a path forward to the nomination. My presidential campaign ends today, but this also is the start of a new passage for the issues on which our campaign ran.
I entered this race determined to elevate the issue of gun violence, and at the debate, three top-tier candidates embraced my idea to ban and buy back every single assault weapon in America. Putting this idea and this larger issue of gun violence front and center in the Democratic policy discussion is an accomplishment, dedicated to the students, moms, and other activists who tirelessly demand action to save American lives.
I thank my supporters and friends, my staff, and my family for making this journey possible. I’ll never forget the people I met and lessons I learned while travelling around our great nation – especially in the communities most affected by gun violence. Too many communities feel this pain. But in every community’s grief, I see people who love one another and have inside themselves the grit to get things done to end gun violence once and for all.
I will take those lessons back to Congress, serving my friends and neighbors in California’s 15th District while using my seats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees to make our nation safer and uphold the rule of law for all Americans.
The 38-year-old Swalwell will instead seek a fifth term in Congress. Rumor has it that former State Assemblywoman Catharine Baker might run for the Republican nomination in the same district to face Swalwell, next year.