Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell ends presidential bid

California Democrat won't seek 2020 presidential bid due to poor polling numbers.

Ben Ariel,

Eric Swalwell
Eric Swalwell
Reuters

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) announced on Monday that he was ending his 2020 presidential bid, NBC News reports.

He becomes the second candidate to formally exit the race, following former Democratic West Virginia state Sen. Richard Ojeda's brief foray into the presidential contest earlier this year.

"I told my wife and our staff and our constituents and our supporters that we're only running for one reason — to win and make a difference," Swalwell said, adding that "being honest with ourselves, we had to look at how much money we were raising" and at polling.

Swalwell, who had built up somewhat of a national profile through his positions on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees and sought to focus his campaign on gun control, never saw his White House bid take off.

"Today ends our presidential campaign, but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress with a new perspective," Swalwell said, according to NBC News, adding that he had "no regrets" from his short run.

Swalwell estimated that he raised roughly $850,000 during the second quarter, though said those numbers were not final.

"We wanted to be honest with ourselves," Swalwell said. "If there was a viable chance, I wouldn’t be standing here today. I didn't want to mislead my family, my staff, our supporters, my constituents."

During the first debate of Democratic candidates last month, the 38-year-old Swalwell took aim at former Vice President Joe Biden and older Democrats, as he said they needed to "pass the torch" to a new generation of leadership.

Instead of the Democratic presidential nomination, Swalwell will run for re-election to his House seat. He already faces a primary challenger in that race, Hayward City Council member Aisha Wahab, a progressive Afghan-American.

Even with Swalwell stepping down, there is a crowded slate of 25 candidates seeking the Democratic party’s nomination.

In addition to Biden, candidates include Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Kamala Harris, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Cory Booker, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak.




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