Eric Swalwell, a four-term San Francisco Bay Area congressman who has grown into a cable-TV fixture as an unremitting critic of President Donald Trump, formally announced Monday his long-shot bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Fittingly, he chose national television as the venue to declare his intent, saying on CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that he would “go big on the issues we take on, be bold in the solutions we offer and do good in the way we govern.”
Swalwell, 38, has essentially been running for president for the better part of the past two years. Still, he will have to work to distinguish himself in a crowded field approaching 20 contestants.
His positions on major issues are shared by most other Democrats running, among them support for universal health care, higher taxes on the wealthy and a more aggressive federal effort to fight climate change.
Perhaps his greatest distinction is his birthplace, in rural Iowa, where Swalwell lived until age 5, when his family moved to California. Iowa casts the first ballots of the nominating process, and the congressman has all but taken up formal residency in the state.
A member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, Swalwell has repeatedly accused the president of colluding with Russia during the 2016 election, even after special counsel Robert Mueller found no grounds for criminal prosecution.
Swalwell is neither the youngest candidate nor the only millennial in the Democratic race — South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is 37 — and he shares his Northern California political base with Sen. Kamala Harris, a former district attorney in San Francisco.