The race for the Democratic nomination for president has only recently begun, yet the first candidate has already dropped out of the contest.
Eric Swalwell, a U.S. congressman representing a district in California, announced Monday that he will not continue to seek the presidential nomination but will instead run for a fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Today ends our presidential campaign, but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress,” he said during a news conference in his East Bay congressional district.
Swalwell was a long-shot candidate in a crowded field of more than 20 vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and he had languished near the bottom of the polls since he entered the race in April.
The congressman tried to raise his profile at the June debate in Miami by forcefully calling on front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden to “pass the torch” to a younger generation. While the moment received media coverage following the debate, it failed to improve Swalwell’s poll numbers.
Swalwell, 38, was one of the younger candidates in the race, along with Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Representative Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, both of whom are 37.
Swalwell has represented northern California in the U.S. Congress since 2012 and has used his seat on the House Intelligence Committee to become frequent cable-news guest talking about the investigation between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The congressman said tackling gun violence and fixing the student debt crisis were two of the issues that compelled him to run for the presidential nomination.