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Tom Steyer Enters, Eric Swalwell Exits Crowded Democratic Presidential Field

Other candidates could be dropping out of the race soon.

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This week, the crowded Democratic presidential field changed as one candidate dropped out of the race and another entered.

While he made the debate stage in South Florida at the end of June, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., bowed out of the race on Monday. While he tried to focus on gun control and calling for Democrats to look to younger leaders, Swalwell made little impact in the race, polling around 1 percent or less and simply not making an impact in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

“I ran for president to win and make a difference in our great country — a difference on issues of the future such as finding cures for our deadliest and most debilitating diseases, taking on the student loan debt crisis, and ending gun violence. I promised my family, constituents, and supporters that I would always be honest about our chances. After the first Democratic presidential debate, our polling and fundraising numbers weren’t what we had hoped for, and I no longer see a path forward to the nomination. My presidential campaign ends today, but this also is the start of a new passage for the issues on which our campaign ran,” Swalwell insisted on Monday.

“I entered this race determined to elevate the issue of gun violence, and at the debate, three top-tier candidates embraced my idea to ban and buy back every single assault weapon in America,” he added. “Putting this idea and this larger issue of gun violence front and center in the Democratic policy discussion is an accomplishment, dedicated to the students, moms, and other activists who tirelessly demand action to save American lives.

“I thank my supporters and friends, my staff, and my family for making this journey possible. I’ll never forget the people I met and lessons I learned while travelling around our great nation – especially in the communities most affected by gun violence. Too many communities feel this pain. But in every community’s grief, I see people who love one another and have inside themselves the grit to get things done to end gun violence once and for all,” Swalwell noted in conclusion before stressing he would run for reelection in 2020. “I will take those lessons back to Congress, serving my friends and neighbors in California’s 15th District while using my seats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees to make our nation safer and uphold the rule of law for all Americans.”

While Swalwell dropped out of the race, billionaire hedge fund investor Tom Steyer joined the crowded field. Steyer has spent more than $100 million in the last three election cycles, supporting Democrats, calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment and highlighting environmental challenges, including global warming.

“If you think that there’s something absolutely critical, try as hard as you can and let the chips fall where they may and that’s exactly what I’m doing. My name’s Tom Steyer, and I’m running for president,” Steyer announced in an online video released on Tuesday.

In the meantime, other candidates could be dropping out of the race soon. Former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska, who failed to make the debate stage, hinted on Twitter that he could bow out soon. Former Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Col., shook up his campaign, changing his staff after his old team urged him to quit and run for the U.S. Senate.


Reach Kevin Derby at


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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