CA congressman Eric Swalwell announced on April 8 that he’s running for president, becoming the 18th Democrat to join the race. Learn more about the rep. who could become POTUS in 2020.
Eric Swalwell has entered the 2020 race. The California congressman, 38, is one of the youngest candidates to announce their run, and with little name recognition and one of the most crowded races in United States history, it’s an uphill battle from here. Swalwell made his announcement on the April 8 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, telling Colbert that that country is ready for a leader who’s willing to take action on issues like gun control, climate change, and student debt relief. Learn more about Swalwell:
1. He’s a three-term congressman from California. Swalwell has represented California’s 15th district, in the Bay Area, for six years. The politician, originally from Iowa, was a congressional intern and city council member before running for Congress. He’s known for his use of social media to connect with his constituents, and was even dubbed “the Snapchat king of Congress” by The Hill in 2016. He used Facebook Live and Periscope to live stream the Democrats’ historic June 2016 congressional sit-in over gun violence, and has advocated for allowing cameras on the House floor.
2. He’s running for president because he wants a better world for our kids. The Bay Area-located politician wrote an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle, which announced that, “I’m running [for president] to bring the promise of America to all Americans. That promise is simple: If you work hard, it should lead to doing better for yourself and dreaming bigger for your kids… As an experienced legislator but of a younger Democratic generation, I see enormous opportunity for our party and our country in 2020. So I will challenge our country to go big on the issues we take on, be bold in the solutions we offer, and do good again in the way that we govern.”
3. He’s running on a platform of gun control. While many Democratic candidates have cited gun control in their platforms, he is explicitly focusing his campaign on the issue. At 38, Swalwell was a teenager during the Columbine shooting, making him part of the “school shooting generation,” as fellow candidate Pete Buttigieg, 37, calls it. Swalwell wants a ban on assault weapons, and a mandatory buy-back program to remove such weapons from their current owners to get them off the street. Swalwell has teamed up with March for Our Lives activists, including it’s co-founder, Parkland shooting survivor Cameron Kasky, to get out his message. “I talk to kids who sit in their classes afraid that they’ll be the next victim of gun violence. And they see Washington doing nothing about it after their moments of silence. They see lawmakers who love their guns more than they love our kids,” he said during his Late Show appearance.
4. He’s also focusing on health care reform and research. Swalwell wants a “health-care-for-all guarantee” so that US citizens don’t have to choose between seeing the doctor when they’re ill or paying their bills. People are dying in the United States because they can’t afford their medication! He also wants to put funding toward medical research and advancements to “find the ‘unfindable,’ solve the ‘unsolvable,’ and cure the ‘incurable’: Achieving cures in our lifetimes for the diseases that ail us,” according to his SF Chronicle op-ed.
5. He wants to eliminate student loan debt. Swalwell believes that we should have zero-interest federal student loans, tax-free employer contributions to student loan payments, and “debt-free college for public university students who do work-study and commit to community volunteerism after graduation.” He confessed in his op-ed that he’s still paying off his own student loans as a congressman in his late thirties.