On Monday, California Congressman Eric Swalwell dropped out of the 2020 presidential primary, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to do so.
“We have to be honest about our own candidacy’s viability,” Swalwell said to a group of reporters at his campaign headquarters in Dublin, Calif, via the Hill, after mostly polling for zero percent since his initial announcement.
At the presser, Swalwell shared that he would be seeking re-election to his congressional seat.
“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 me and my campaign over the past few months,” he continued.
I want thank my supporters & friends, my staff, & my family for making this journey possible. I’ll never forget the people I met & lessons I learned while traveling around our great nation. Though our campaign is ending our mission to end gun violence is just beginning… pic.twitter.com/voEJRpYd2R
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) July 8, 2019
The Hill reports:
The lawmaker had canceled Independence Day events in New Hampshire last week, sparking the initial speculation about his plans.
Swalwell, who is a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, instead said he will focus on his reelection bid for his fifth term in the lower chamber.
He will face progressive Hayward City Council member Aisha Wahab in the fifteenth district’s Democratic primary.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 8, 2019
Swalwell did not use his press conference to make an endorsement of any of the remaining presidential candidates, joking he would only do so if United States women’s national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe announced a run.
“If Megan Rapinoe gets in the race, I think I’m going to endorse her,” Swalwell said.
The California lawmaker has lagged in polls in the presidential contest, despite taking part in the first series of debates late last month.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted June 29 to July 1 showed Swalwell polling at zero percent among Democratic primary and caucus voters.
Swalwell has yet to announce his fundraising for the second quarter – a key metric that could force other presidential candidates to drop out as well.
The lawmaker estimated during the press conference that his campaign had raised roughly $850,000 from 21,000 donors in the second quarter, adding that the figures were not final.
“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,” Swalwell said.
Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker thanked Swalwell for his run and for his commitment to remain in Congress, saying “Thank you, Eric Swalwell. Grateful for your public service and your leadership on working to end gun violence in our communities—I look forward to continuing to work together on this urgent issue and more.”
Thank you, @EricSwalwell. Grateful for your public service and your leadership on working to end gun violence in our communities—I look forward to continuing to work together on this urgent issue and more. https://t.co/mWF58A3AaH
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 8, 2019