Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell plans to run for president in 2020, according to a person close to the California congressman who is familiar with his plans.
“He’s definitely running,” the source said.
This weekend, Swalwell will be the first potential presidential candidate to visit Iowa after the midterms with a trip to meet the Asian & Latino Coalition in Des Moines and Iowa Democratic Party chairs in Dubuque. The travel to Iowa was first reported by NBC News and confirmed by POLITICO.
The 37-year-old Swalwell has been positioning himself for a run over the past year, with several trips to early primary voting states and endorsements of three young congressional candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire through his Future Forum PAC. He has also asked for lists of potential staffers for the early-state contests.
Swalwell’s, press secretary, Caitlyn McNamee also went to Iowa this fall to help out with Cindy Axne’s successful congressional bid.
The three-term congressman grew up in Iowa and was heavily involved in Marlyand Gov. Martin O’Malley’s unsuccessful presidential run in 2016. O’Malley has said he is keeping an “open mind” about running for president himself in 2020.
Swalwell would be a heavy underdog in the 2020 race against the expected high-profile candidacies from the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and others.
But Democratic activists in the early states say that Swalwell has gone over well during his early visits.
“People were extremely impressed by him and New Hampshire people are hard to impress,” said Gene Martin, chairman of the Manchester Democratic Party, who which hosted Swalwell last week at a “Countdown to Victory Dinner” event. “People walked away from that dinner with just a ‘wow affect’ and he worked the room like someone who was running for president.”
Swalwell declined to comment for this story.