Presidential hopeful and Tri-Valley Congressman Eric Swalwell has made the cut for the Democrats' first presidential debate and will look to have a breakout moment to distinguish himself in front of a national audience next week.
Swalwell, a 38-year-old Dublin native in his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Pleasanton and the rest of District 15, is joining a crowded lineup of 20 candidates who will share the stage over the two-day debate held in Miami, which is scheduled to air on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo on June 26 and 27, 6-8 p.m. PDT each night.
The East Bay congressman will be taking the stage on the second day of debates (June 27), where he will go up against nine other candidates -- in order to accommodate the large number, 10 different candidates will take the stage each day -- including more prominent candidates former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
"Support is growing for my campaign to go big on the issues we tackle, be bold in the solutions we offer, and do good with the way that we govern," Swalwell said after he qualified for the debate in April. "I'm grateful that I'll have a place on the debate stage to discuss ending gun violence, providing affordable healthcare for all while finding cures in our lifetime, ensuring all communities have top-notch schools, and making sure student loan debt isn't a lifetime burden."
Major candidates taking the stage on June 26 include Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas).
Since announcing his candidacy in April, Swalwell has made presidential integrity, government transparency, education and healthcare central pillars of his campaign, but ending gun violence and enforcing gun reforms has been his top priority.
To support his gun reform platform, on Monday afternoon Swalwell announced his comprehensive framework for "ending gun violence," doing so during a press conference near the national headquarters of the National Rifle Association in Fairfax, Va.
During the announcement, Swalwell laid out his plan which includes banning civilian possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons, buying back weapons that are already in circulation, expanding mental health services to reduce suicides from firearms, increasing protection for people suffering from domestic abuse, and implementing background checks for all firearm and ammunition purchases, to name a few provisions of his plan.
"We're done letting the bullying, tweeting minority that leads the NRA dictate whether Americans live or die," Swalwell said in a statement. "I'm taking the battle to the NRA's doorstep with a new, broader package of commonsense reforms to end gun violence. We're done relying on thoughts and prayers -- it's time to act."