LOS ANGELES — Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told CNBC he expects to make an announcement “soon” about whether to run for president in 2020.
He has already added staff and offices in some key early states as he builds out a national campaign infrastructure.
“It’s just making sure that we find the right moment when we’re ready to go,” Swalwell said of his 2020 plans last week. “But right now I see nothing but green lights.”
The north Silicon Valley congressman sees the focus on jobs and the economy and how Americans are struggling and feel “disconnected” and hurt by the policies of President Donald Trump. He proposes a variety of initiatives to create more jobs and opportunities, including workforce training, infrastructure investment and tax changes to boost growth in low-income communities.
Swalwell has been to North Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Florida in recent days. And he plans over the next several weeks to return to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where he has been adding staff and some offices.
The 38-year-old lawmaker, who sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, would be the youngest president ever elected if he were to win the Oval Office in 2020. He chairs the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee, a panel with oversight for the U.S. intelligence community’s policies and programs, including information technology modernization.
He has made headlines during House hearings and has become familiar face on news networks discussing Trump and the Russia probe.
Talk of Swalwell’s presidential ambitions came up Friday in an unlikely place: a televised House Judiciary Committee hearing where acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was grilled by the California congressman. Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the ranking GOP member of the panel, objected to a question Swalwell asked Whitaker and then blasted his colleague: “Ask questions instead of running for president.”
An Iowa native, Swalwell was raised in California and elected to his first term in Congress in 2012 by defeating Rep. Pete Stark, a 40-year Democratic incumbent. Swalwell previously was an Alameda County prosecutor and city councilman in Dublin, a suburb in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area.
As a 2020 candidate, Swalwell would face competition from another Northern Californian who already has thrown her hat in the ring for the nomination — Sen. Kamala Harris. Both worked in the same district attorney’s office and got their start in the Bay Area.
Here are some key issues Swalwell plans to run on as the field of Democratic presidential candidates grows nearly every week.