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May 1st, 2019

Congressman Eric Michael Swalwell Jr. of California is another of the lesser known candidates for President from the Democratic Party who doesn't show up on the polling numbers posted by Real Clear Politics, meaning that he is polling at something below 0.4%. The 38 year old Congressman represents California's 15th congressional district, a district that covers most of eastern Alameda County and part of central Contra Costa County. He began serving in Congress on January 3, 2013, and he announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on April 8, 2019.

Swalwell was born on November 16, 1980, in Sac City, Iowa, the oldestt of four sons of Eric Nelson Swalwell and Vicky Joe Swalwell. His father was the police chief in Algona, Iowa at the time. The family moved to Dublin, California where Eric Jr. graduated from Dublin High School in 1999. He attended Campbell University in North Carolina on a soccer scholarship from 1999 to 2001, but he broke both of his thumbs in 2001, his sophomore year, ending the scholarship. Swalwell transferred to the University of Maryland, College Park, where he completed his bachelor's degree in government and politics at Maryland in 2003. He enrolled at the University of Maryland School of Law and earned his law degree in 2006.

In 2001 and 2002, Swalwell interned for Ellen Tauscher in the United States House of Representatives. She then represented California's 10th congressional district. After graduating from law school, he worked as an Alameda County deputy district attorney. He also served on the Dublin Heritage & Cultural Arts Commission from 2006 to 2008 and on the Dublin Planning Commission from 2008 to 2010 before winning election to the Dublin City Council in 2010. In September 2011, Swalwell filed to run for Congress in the 15th district. He took a leave of absence from the Dublin City Council in order to run for the seat. In the November 2012 election, Swalwell won the seat with 52.1% of the vote.

During his service in the House, Swalwell has become known for innovative and extensive use of social media to connect with constituents. In April 2016, The Hill nicknamed him "the Snapchat king of Congress". In his first term, Swalwell served on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Swalwell helped lead the fight against Transportation Security Administration administrator John S. Pistole on his decision to lift the ban on pocketknives at airport security. The decision eventually was reversed.

Swalwell supported Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's unsuccessful presidential bid in 2016. During his second term in Congress, Swalwell served on the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ranking member of its Central Intelligence Agency Subcommittee. He also remained on the United States House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. In April 2015, Swalwell founded Future Forum, a group of young House Democrats focused on the concerns of millennials. Swalwell still chairs the group, now numbering 27 members. Among the issues addressed by this group is that ofstudent loan debt. In 2017, Swalwell said he himself still carried almost $100,000 in debt from his undergraduate and law-school education.

Swalwell was re-elected in 2014, 2016,and 2018, each time by a larger majority. In December 2016, Swalwell was named the co-chair of Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. He retained his seat on the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence but left the United States House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in order to serve on the United States House Committee on the Judiciary, and its Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, and Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. Swalwell and Rep. Elijah Cummings in December 2016 introduced the Protecting Our Democracy Act, which would create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election. They reintroduced the legislation for the 115th Congress in January 2017, but the bill failed to win any meaningful bipartisan support.

Currently, Swalwell's committee assignments include a seat on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Subcommittee on Intelligence Modernization and Readiness, the Subcommittee on Strategic Technologies and Advanced Research, the Committee on the Judiciary, the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, and the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. He is a member of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

On April 8, 2019, Swalwell announced his presidential campaign in the 2020 presidential election on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He also released a campaign ad announcing his campaign on his social media pages. Swalwell formally launched his campaign at an event at Dublin High School in Dublin, California, on April 14, 2019. He has called for the repeal of the No Child Left Behind Act, and for increasing funding for education, while decreasing funding for defense. He also promotes renewable energy jobs to be created with federal stimulus money. Swalwell has stated that he would attempt to raise the cap on the Social Security payroll tax so that wealthier Americans would pay more into the program. He has proposed the idea of a "mobile Congress", with members casting votes remotely, while spending more time in their districts. He is a strong supporter of marriage equality for same-sex couples, and is also pro-choice. He has called for a mandatory buyback of "military style semi-automatic assault weapons", with prosecution for anyone who fails to comply after the allotted timeline.


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