Eric Swalwell exits 2020 presidential race


Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) is dropping out of the Democratic primary after a three-month campaign that failed to gain traction in a field of more than two dozen candidates.

Speaking from a union hall outside San Francisco, Swalwell thanked his staff, supporters and family for their efforts, saying he’ll shift his focus to running for reelection to the House.

“Being honest with ourselves, we had to look at how much money we were raising, [and] where we were in the polls,” he said. 

As one of the youngest 2020 election contenders, Swalwell, 38, tried to distinguish himself as part of a new generation of Democratic leaders. 

During the first Democratic debate last month, he invoked an old quote from one of the front-runners, former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, saying that “it’s time to pass the torch.”

But the moment was overshadowed by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who urged the candidates to focus on other issues, telling them that “America does not want to witness a food fight, they want to know how we’re going to put food on their table.” It became one of the most memorable lines of the night.

Swalwell also was overshadowed by other younger faces in the race, particularly Pete Buttigieg, 37. The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has steadily increased his national profile in recent months, entering the top tier of candidates.

During his brief run, Swalwell tried to make gun violence a prominent issue, and was the only candidate to favor buybacks of assault weapons.

Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell from California
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Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell from California
UNITED STATES - MAY 23: Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., is pictured at a democratic congressional baseball practice in Northeast. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 8: Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., warms up before the official start of the 2nd Annual Capital Soccer Classic. (Warren Rojas/CQ-Roll Call, Inc.)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Eric Swalwell, Schuyler Hudak, Danielle Bersen and Joe Meehan attend Maybach Icons Of Luxury - Quincy Jones Icon Collection on November 22, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Maybach)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 11: Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speaks with Roll Call in his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 16: Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., walks on Broadway after a Future Forum with young entrepreneurs in the Flatiron District of New York City, April 16, 2015. Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Grace Meng, D-N.Y., also attended.(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 16: Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., center, along with Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., left, and Seth Moulton, D-Mass., talk with young entrepreneurs during a Future Forum event at District Coworks in the Flatiron District of New York City, April 16, 2015. Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., also attended. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 11: Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., waves to the crowd during the 54th Congressional Baseball Game in Nationals Park, June 11, 2014. The Democrats prevailed over the Republicans 5-2. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 23: Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., left, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., talk as they walk down the House steps following a vote in the Capitol on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) speaks during a news conference to call for an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election at the U.S. Capitol January 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. Accusations of Russian computer hacks of Democratic National Committee servers and emails have lead to calls for an investigation. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24: (L to R) House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Eric Swalwell hold a news conference in the House Visitors Center, March 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. In a big setback to the agenda of President Donald Trump and the Speaker, Ryan cancelled a vote for the American Health Care Act, the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also called 'Obamacare.' (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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