California congressman Eric Swalwell withdraws from 2020 presidential race

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Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) announced on Monday that he's dropping out the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race.

"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", Swalwell told reporters at a press conference.

"I'm fired up to do that work that I've already been doing in Congress", Swalwell said, citing his positions on the steering, judiciary and intelligence committees.

Swalwell's polling numbers never broke out from the crowded field of more than 20 candidates.

Swalwell is expected to make the announcement at a 4 p.m. ET news conference at his campaign headquarters in California, concluding a short-lived bid for the Democratic nomination that failed to gain any traction.

During the first primary debate, Swalwell told former Vice President Joe Biden, who is76 years old, at least six times that he should "pass the torch" to a younger candidate, such as himself. Swalwell, however, wasn't able to break through in the crowded primary.

The congressman made gun control a central plank of his campaign. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. We can't just respond to the last mass shooting.

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At 38, Swalwell was the second youngest candidate in the race.

Speaking later, he added: "We need a candidate who's tested... because Trump is the best political puncher ever in American politics, so whoever we send to that debate stage... is going to have to take a punch, throw a punch and then unite the country at the end of the campaign".

Swalwell has languished for months near the bottom of the polls.

Guttenberg, who did not formally endorse any candidates but had praised Swalwell's focus on gun control, said he was confident that the issue of gun violence would stay at the center of the 2020 Democratic primary campaign.

McConnell's team also posted comments from Swalwell made over the weekend, in which the Democrat said McConnell would not be re-elected in 2020 and could therefore not block gun control legislation pushed by a Swalwell administration and passed by a Democratic-controlled House.

The 37-year-old Congressman launched his campaign this past April. "I believe, because we ran a credible campaign, one that is ending today, but a credible campaign, I'll be able to advocate in an even more effective way for my constituents".

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