Rep. Eric Swalwell ends presidential bid
Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesCalifornia Rep. Eric Swalwell announced he is ending his presidential bid on Monday.
“Today ends our presidential campaign but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress,” Swalwell said during a news conference on Monday.
“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…” the candidate tweeted.
After the first debate in June, Swalwell was scheduled to make a series of campaign stops in New Hampshire for the Fourth of July, but those events were later cancelled.
On Monday, Swalwell declared his bid wasn’t a vanity project, instead it was an attempt to make a difference and move the needle when it comes to guns. He said his travels as a presidential candidate has created a new opportunity for his role in Congress. He said his work will be “shaped by the lives that have touched mine and our campaigns throughout these last three months to bring that promise of America to all Americans.”
Swalwell didn’t shy away from his personal life on the trail either, often bringing his wife Brittany and two young children, Nelson and Cricket on the trail. On Monday, Swalwell praised his wife who he described as “a hell of a surrogate.” He continued “She was a mom, had a full time job, and put everything into her husband’s campaign.”
The congressman was frank about dealing with student loan debt, and used that to distinguish himself from the rest of the large field of candidates.
He told ABC News’ Senior Washington Reporter Devin Dwyer in June, “I’m going to distinguish myself as a candidate, who was the first in the family to go to college, a father of two kids paying off student loan debt, which he says is just under $100,000.”
And from the start of his campaign in April, guns have been at the core of his campaign.
A day after announcing his bid for the White House, Swalwell went on Good Morning America, declaring that that gun control and student loan debt would be key points of his agenda, which remained a consistent theme for his candidacy.
The 38-year-old, traveled to several cities, including Chicago and Baltimore to meet with local leaders who were fighting to end gun violence. Often in public from the campaign trail to the debate stage, the California representative wore an orange tie or ribbon in honor of the movement for gun safety.
For Swalwell the gun safety, doesn’t mean American’s can’t have guns. The California congressman told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in April on Good Morning America “I’m telling folks, keep your rifles, keep your shotguns, keep your pistols, we just want the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people.”
Although Swalwell ran as an individual candidate, he often referred to his fellow 2020 contenders as The Avengers.
He told ABC News that unlike the Republican Party, which he described as the Hunger Games, he was close to his fellow candidates.
“We’re all in this to save our country,” he said. “Many of these people are people I admire and work with, I’ve gone to three of their weddings. So it’s actually a group of people I respect.”
Fellow Californian and presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris lauded Swalwell’s efforts on behalf of gun policy reform, tweeting, “@ericswalwell, you’re a great fighter for the people of California. We are a stronger nation because of your work to protect our children and our communities from gun violence.”
In the end, Swalwell didn’t count his bid as a loss, he counted as a point of success his ability to get three front-runners — Vice President Joe Biden, and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Harris — to support a pledge and buyback of 15 million assault weapons in the country.
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