• California congressman Eric Swalwell announced on Monday he’s running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.
  • Swalwell, 38, has represented California’s 15th Congressional District since 2013. He serves on the high-profile House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, leading the CIA subcommittee.
  • Swalwell’s official announcement comes after visits to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to test the waters.

The three-term California congressman Eric Swalwell announced on Monday he is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. He is the 18th Democrat to join one of the most crowded primary fields in modern US history.

Esquire first reported Swalwell’s announcement on Monday. He was set to go public with it on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Monday night, alongside Cameron Kasky, a cofounder of the March For Our Lives, a gun-reform activist, and a survivor of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Swalwell has made a name for himself in Congress as a top Democrat on the high-profile House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and is now leading the subcommittee overseeing the CIA. He also holds a spot on the prestigious House Judiciary Committee.

Swalwell is best known for his work on the committee’s investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, frequently appearing on cable news to discuss the latest twists and turns of those inquiries.

But the California congressman has also been a vocal advocate for gun-law reform in the wake of several mass shootings in the US in recent years. He said his presidential campaign will focus on combatting the issue of gun violence in America, The Atlantic first reported earlier this month.

“I see a country in quicksand,” Swalwell told Colbert of his decision to run.

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“Unable to solve threats from abroad, and unable to make life better for people here at home…none of that is going to change unless we get a leader willing to go big on the issues we take on, be bold on the solutions we offer and do good in the way that we govern.”

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After his presidential aspirations were reported by Politico in November, Swalwell has traveled around the country and visited Democratic groups in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to test the presidential waters.

At 38 years old, Swalwell is one of the youngest candidates in the 2020 Democratic field. After graduating from law school, he served as a deputy district attorney and was on the Dublin City Council of Dublin, California, before first running for the House in 2012.

Swalwell represents California’s affluent and racially diverse 15th Congressional District, which is east of San Francisco.

He will face a potentially uphill battle to compete for votes and donations with fellow California Democrat Sen. Kamala Harris, who has racked up dozens of home-state endorsements and raised $12 million since announcing her candidacy in January.

Read more: California moved up its presidential primary and it could be the biggest factor in 2020 and beyond

But Swalwell is betting on his focus on gun violence, combined with his appeal as a young politician, to help him stand out from the rest of the field.

“I do believe that the country, by sending about 27 new members of Congress who are in their 40s and under, that they embraced in this last midterm election new leadership, new ideas and much importantly, a new confidence,” he told MSNBC in December.

Along with his pledges to hold President Donald Trump accountable to the law, Swalwell has met with Parkland shooting survivors and uses his social media to highlight being a working parent who is still paying off his student debt while raising two young children.

Swalwell has also made a priority of flying back to California every weekend to visit constituents and spend a day working at a small business in his district, using the hashtag #InYourShoes.