Eric Swalwell

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Eric Swalwell
Eric Swalwell, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 15th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Mike Honda
Personal details
Born Eric Michael Swalwell, Jr.
(1980-11-16) November 16, 1980 (age 33)
Sac City, Iowa, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence Dublin, California
Alma mater University of Maryland (B.A.)
University of Maryland School of Law (J.D.)
Occupation Attorney
Religion Christianity[1]
Website Representative Eric Swalwell

Eric Michael Swalwell, Jr. (born November 16, 1980) is an American politician and activist from California, who serves as the U.S. Representative from California's 15th congressional district. He is a member of the Democratic Party. His district covers most of eastern Alameda County, including Hayward, Pleasanton, Livermore, Fremont, Dublin and San Ramon. He was elected in November 2012, defeating incumbent Pete Stark, a fellow Democrat almost a half-century Swalwell's senior, who had held the office since 1973. Swalwell took office on January 3, 2013. [2][3][4][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Swalwell was born in Sac City, Iowa and raised in Dublin, California.[7] He graduated from Dublin High School (Class of 1999).[8]

He attended Campbell University on a soccer scholarship from 1999 to 2001.[9][10] He lost the scholarship after suffering an injury.[7] He then transferred to the University of Maryland, College Park. [9] He received a bachelor's degree in Government and Politics at Maryland, and later earned his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. He served on the College Park, Maryland city council as its student representative.[11]

"I learned to never stop working. Hard work will always be rewarded. Life’s not fair, not everyone starts at the same starting point. We should strive for that, having everyone start at the same place, but I realized other people would have better opportunities because of where they came from in life, and that the only way I could overcome those advantages was to work hard."[12]

In 2014, Swalwell announced that he will serve as chairman of Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's O' Say Can You See PAC's Young Professionals Leadership Circle due to his friendship with the governor. He made clear that his support is about the 2014 midterm elections and not an endorsement of a potential presidential bid by O'Malley in 2016. [13]

Local political career[edit]

In 2001 and 2002, Swalwell interned for Ellen Tauscher, a United States Representative, in Washington, D.C., focusing on legislative research and constituent outreach and services.[11] He worked as an Alameda County deputy district attorney, a Dublin planning commissioner, and a Dublin city councilman.[7][14][6]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2012 campaign[edit]

Representative Eric Swalwell on the Capitol Hill steps with friends, family, and campaign staff.

In September 2011, Swalwell filed papers to run for Congress in the 15th District. The district had previously been the 13th, represented by 20-term incumbent Pete Stark, a fellow Democrat. Stark had represented the district since 1973, seven years before Swalwell had been born. He took a leave of absence from the Dublin city council in order to run for the seat.[7] While he was running for the seat, an attempted recall of Swalwell from the Dublin City Council was begun, but after he won election to US House, the attempt was later abandoned.

Swalwell was endorsed by the San Francisco Chronicle.[14][15] During the 2012 election cycle, Swalwell was accused by the Stark campaign of being a Tea Party candidate. The accusation was refuted by Swalwell and the San Jose Mercury News, which also endorsed Swalwell.[16] Stark refused to debate Swalwell during the campaign. In response to Stark's refusal to debate, Swalwell organized a mock debate with an actor playing Pete Stark, quoting him verbatim when answering the moderator. Other campaign gimmicks included Chinese-manufactured rubber ducks, and a dreadlocked, bearded information man. [17] [18][6] Swalwell was able to contest Stark after the primary due to a new primary system in California, under which the top two vote getters advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.[19]

Swalwell defeated Stark 52.1% to 47.9%. [20]

Committee assignments[edit]


On December 12, 2013, Swalwell introduced the Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act (H.R. 3771; 113th Congress) into the House.[21] If enacted, the bill would allow Americans to deduct from their 2013 taxes any charitable donations made between January 1, 2014 and April 15, 2014 provide they are made for the relief of victims in the Republic of the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan.[21] The typhoon did an estimated $1 billion in damage and killed thousands of people.[22] Swawell said that "Typhoon Haiyan devastated many parts of the Philippines and we should make it as easy as possible for Americans who want to assist those affected by the storm."[22] Swalwell saw the bill as providing "another incentive for Americans to donate and donate now - when their help is needed most."[22] On March 25, 2014 this legislation was signed into law by President Obama. On June 17, 2014, as a part of the renaming of multiple post offices around the country, Swalwell introduced HR 1671 to rename the post office in Dublin, CA as the James "Jim" Kohnen Post Office. It was voted into law on a unanimous 398-0 vote.

Political positions[edit]

Swalwell has advocated rescinding the No Child Left Behind Act, and increasing funding for education, while decreasing funding for defense. He has also advocated for renewable energy jobs to be created with federal stimulus money. He has stated he would attempt to raise the Social Security cap, with wealthier Americans paying into the program. He has proposed the idea of a "mobile Congress," with members casting votes remotely, while spending more time in their districts.[23] In March 2013, Swalwell led in the writing of an open letter to John S. Pistole, Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), opposing the new policy which would allow passengers to bring knives on board airplanes. [24] He is also a supporter of same-sex marriage and abortion rights. [25]


During a house vote, Swalwell recorded a video of his vote against a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks to his mobile phone and uploaded it to Vine, an internet video service. He defended the action, stating "We operate under rules that were created in the eighteenth century, and I think it's time that the Congress start to act more like regular Americans do." His posting violated the house rules that state "No device may be used for still photography or for audio or video recording."[26]


  1. ^ "Eric Michael Swalwell". Washington Times. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  2. ^ Lochhead, Carolyn. "Pete Stark behind Eric Swalwell in early returns". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  3. ^ Creaven, Patrick. "Eric Swalwell Defeats 19-Term Congressman Pete Stark". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  4. ^ "U.S. House of Representatives District 15 districtwide results". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  5. ^ "Dublin High School Alumni Eric Swalwell Defeats 40-Year Congressman Pete Stark". 
  6. ^ a b c "Election 2012: Eric Swalwell defeats 20-term Rep. Pete Stark". Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Eric Swalwell – Election 2012". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  8. ^ "Eric Swalwell Jr. profile". 
  9. ^ a b "Eric Swalwell: Members of Congress". Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  10. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  11. ^ a b "Dublin Councilman Eric Swalwell seeking congressional seat in 2012 election". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  12. ^ "Eric Swalwell’s Work Ethic and Character: Right for the 15th Congressional District". 2012-07-16. 
  13. ^ Memoli, Michael. "California Rep. Swalwell says he joined O'Malley for 2014, not 2016". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Eric Swalwell for 15th District". SFGate. 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  15. ^ Miranda S. Spivack (2011-12-29). "Maryland grad and California prosecutor challenges House veteran Pete Stark". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  16. ^ "Political Blotter: Eric Swalwell a tea partier? Um, no.". 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  17. ^ "Risks Of Kids In Campaign Discourse; Swalwell's Moneyball Run For Congress". 
  18. ^ "Rubber Duckies: The Mother's Milk of Politics". 
  19. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (2012-09-24). "'Top-Two' Election Change in California Upends Races". California: Retrieved 2012-11-15. 
  20. ^ "Office of the California Secretary of State". Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "H.R. 3771 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  22. ^ a b c Kasperowicz, Pete (20 March 2014). "House looks to boost Philippines typhoon recovery efforts". The Hill. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "Eric Swalwell - Candidate for U.S. President, Republican Nomination - Election 2012". Retrieved 2012-11-15. 
  24. ^ "March 2013 Press Release". 
  25. ^ The San Francisco Chronicle. 2012-05-04 |url= missing title (help). 
  26. ^ "Rep. Swalwell Defends Uploading Vote Video to Vine". 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mike Honda
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 15th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Chris Stewart
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mark Takano