Government

Iowa native, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell joins White House race

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell speaks to members of the Linn Phoenix Club at an event at Raygun in southeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Swalwell, a 2020 Democratic presidential prospect, visited Iowa to raise funds for 2018 candidates. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell speaks to members of the Linn Phoenix Club at an event at Raygun in southeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Swalwell, a 2020 Democratic presidential prospect, visited Iowa to raise funds for 2018 candidates. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell said on Monday he would seek the Democratic nomination for president, joining a crowded field seeking to take on Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Swalwell, a third-term congressman from a California district south of San Francisco, made the announcement during a taping of CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” which airs later on Monday. The program tweeted a clip of Swalwell saying he was running for president.

Swalwell said tackling student debt and gun violence were among the reasons he jumped into the Democratic primary race.


“None of that is going to change until we get a leader who is willing to go big on the issues we take on, be bold in the solutions we offer, and do good in the way that we govern. I’m ready to solve these problems. I’m running for president,” Swalwell said.

Swalwell, 38, is now among the youngest candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination, along with Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, both of whom are 37. Thirty-five is the minimum age to serve as U.S. president.

Swalwell cited his work on the House Intelligence Committee and his founding of Future Forum, a group of more than 25 Democratic lawmakers that visits universities and community colleges to discuss issues important to millennial voters like student loan debt and climate change, among the reasons he would be a qualified White House candidate.

In his first House campaign, Swalwell defeated a Democratic incumbent who had been in office since 1973, seven years before Swalwell was born.

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Since joining Congress, Swalwell has advocated for raising the cap on the portion of salary that is subject to the Social Security payroll tax. He has also proposed a “mobile Congress” that would allow lawmakers to cast votes remotely from their districts.

Swalwell grew up in Sac City, Iowa, and California. He attended Campbell University in North Carolina on a soccer scholarship for two years before transferring to the University of Maryland, where he earned his bachelor’s and law degrees.

Other House lawmakers in the Democratic race include Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who announced his bid last week. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke from Texas is also a contender.

U.S. senators vying for the Democratic presidential nomination include Kamala Harris of California, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker, Makini Brice and Eric Beech; Editing by David Alexander)

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