Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) announced Monday that he is dropping out of the Democratic primary race, making him the first major candidate to exit the race since it began in earnest.

Speaking at his campaign headquarters in California, Swalwell said, “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.”


“To believe that it will be the next generation whose leadership will solve climate chaos, bring cures in our lifetime for health care, address the student loan debt crisis and make sure that we say enough is enough, we don’t have to live this way anymore and that we love our children more than we love our guns,” said the representative, highlighting his two main campaign focuses—generational change and gun control.

Swalwell will return to the House of Representatives, where he began his fourth term in January of this year. “I’m fired up to do that work that I’ve already been doing in the Congress,” he said in his exit speech.

Swalwell entered the race in April, hoping that he could gain traction by presenting the perspective of a younger, more in touch candidate while also making gun control his main focus. The representative, who was mentored by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and was considered a rising star in the House, failed to make waves with his presidential campaign. While Swalwell attempted to play up the idea of generational change during the first Democratic primary debates by attacking Joe Biden, his jabs did less to differentiate himself from the crowded field than it did to hurt Biden.

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