US House Representative Eric Swalwell announced that he has quit the 2020 race, making him the first major Democrat candidate to end a presidential bid in the crowded party primary field.
The lawmaker from California failed to gain any traction leading to his announcement on Monday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We have to be honest about our own candidacy’s viability,” Swalwell said at a press conference at his campaign headquarters in Dublin, California.
Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, instead said he will focus on his re-election bid for a fifth term in the lower chamber. He has been in Congress since 2013.
“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 me and my campaign over the past few months.
“To believe that it will be the next generation whose leadership will solve climate chaos, bring cures in our lifetime for health care, address the student loan debt crisis and make sure that we say enough is enough. We don’t have to live this way anymore and that we love our children more than we love our guns,” he said.
The lawmaker announced his long-shot presidential bid in April. His campaign focused on the need for a generational change in the Democratic Party and his commitment to combating gun violence in the US.
During the first Democratic debates in Miami last month, Swalwell told former Vice President Joe Biden to “pass the torch” to younger generations, noting that he was six years old when Biden came to the California Democratic convention 32 years ago.
Swalwell failed to gain traction in a crowded Democratic field and only qualified for the first set of Democratic debates because of the Democratic National Committee’s 1 percent poll standard, not because of grassroots support.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted from June 29 to July 1 showed Swalwell was polling at zero percent among Democratic primary and caucus voters.