One Less Democrat Is Running For President
And then there were… well, still a lot of them.
Eric Swalwell, a Congressman from California, has dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election.
“Today ends our presidential campaign, but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress, with a new perspective shaped by the lives that have touched mine and our campaign throughout these last three months, to bring that promise of America to all Americans,” the Congressman said in a speech delivered at his campaign headquarters.
Swalwell has represented the state’s 15th congressional district, which is just east of San Francisco and north of San Jose, since 2013 and says he plans to continue his work in Congress. He’ll run as an incumbent in 2020.
“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,” he explained on his campaign website, The Hill noted. “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.”
Swalwell first announced his candidacy in April during an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert; at the time, there were already at least 17 other people seriously pursuing the nomination. During his campaign, he championed aspects of the Green New Deal, as well as a modification of Medicare-For-All he called Medicare-For-All-Who-Want-It, which would provide Medicare as a public option alongside other private-sector insurance. He also championed a federal gun buyback program for assault weapons and closing the loopholes that activists say contribute to gun violence.
Perhaps his biggest moment during his short-lived campaign came during the second night of the first primary debates, on June 27 in Miami, Florida. That night, he challenged former Vice President Joe Biden by recounting the story of when “a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic convention and said it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans. That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden. He was right when he said that 32 years ago. He is still right today.”
The message — that Democrats need to “pass the torch to a new generation” in order to defeat President Trump in 2020 — is one he alluded to in his speech ending his presidential bid.
“I really believe that the best matchup against Donald Trump is somebody who lives in the future, but is not going to ever stop thinking about the present,” he added at his headquarters, per Politico.
Swalwell is technically not the first Democrat to drop out of the race; as BuzzFeed notes, former West Virginia state senator Richard Ojeda abandoned his campaign in January, after launching the campaign in November 2018. And while he might leave the crowded Democratic party with one less candidate, someone else might pick up his torch soon — there are rumors that billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer will be announcing a bid for the 2020 presidency soon.