Monday, Congressman Eric Swalwell, D-California, announced that he was ending his bid to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Swalwell, who has campaigned in Alabama, both for President and for 2018 Democratic candidates is the first of the 24 declared Democratic candidates for President to drop out of the race.
“We have to be honest about our own campaign,” Swalwell told reporters at a news conference on Monday.
Swalwell said that when he entered the race he told his wife and his supporters that he was in it to win it and to make a difference, not to write books or any other reason. Swalwell cited where he is at in fundraising and where he is at in the polls as reasons for why he made the decision to drop out of the race.
Unlike some Democratic candidates, Swalwell did qualfy to make the debate stage at the first debate.
Swalwell is an outspoken opponent of the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment rights. He cited commitments that he received from frontrunners Senator Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Vice President Joe Biden to support a ban on and buyback of all the assault weapons in America as an accomplishment that he had by running for President.
Swalwell’s departures still leaves a crowded Democratic field that includes: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Kamala D. Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, businessman Andrew Yang, spiritual author Marianne Williamson, Sen. Michael Bennet, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland congressman John Delaney, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Rep. Tim Ryan, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam, Rep. Joe Sestak, and Rep. Seth Moulton.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer is expected to announce his candidacy in coming days. If that happens, the Democratic presidential primary field will go back up to 24.
The first Democratic debate was limited to just twenty. The candidates who were not allowed on the debate stage lacked the popular and donor support to participate under the DNC’s rules. Future debates will further pare down the candidates allowed to participate.
Swalwell is expected to run for re-election to his seat in Congress now that he is no longer running for President.
The eventual winner of the Democratic nomination will face presumed Republican nominee, President Donald J. Trump (R) in the 2020 general election.
The Alabama presidential primary will be on March 3.
(Original reporting by Fox News and the Washington Post contributed to this report.)