Rep. Eric Swalwell barnstormed Iowa last week,
fueling conversation that he’s eyeing a run at
the 2020 Iowa Caucus.
15TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Over the last 10 months, Rep. Eric Swalwell has made up to four trips to Iowa. Starting in October 2016 when he visited Iowa City to chat with milennials about student debt, buzz is increasing that the three-term congressman is eyeing a run for president in 2020. It also doesn’t hurt that Swalwell was born in Sac City, IA before his family moved to Dublin.
In late February 2017, Swalwell addressed Democratic activists in Des Moines. He followed with a scathing rebuke of Iowa Rep. Steve King‘s comments in March against immigrants, while gamely noting that he was born in King’s congressional district.
But Swalwell’s sojourn last week to Iowa is only ratcheting up what has been on the minds of local Alameda County Democrats and those in Washington that, coupled with astonishing number of television appearances in opposition of President Trump in the Russian collusion investigation, he’s laying the foundation for a run at the 2020 Iowa Caucus.
Why is @RepSwalwell in Iowa? California Reps don’t just go to Iowa.
— Winthrop Rodgers (@wrodgers2) August 11, 2017
Over four days last week, Swalwell chatted up Pottawattamie County Democrats and stumped for a number of Iowa Democratic candidates. He also appearance for an in-studio interview for the CBS affiliate in Cedar Rapids in support of another congressional candidate. The long string of appearance was highlighted by Swalwell giving the keynote address at last week’s Iowa Democratic Wing Ding.
The obvious peg for Swalwell appeal to the Hawkeye State is his Iowa roots. In fact, he has highlighted this tidbit to such an extent that some outlets and activists groups have mistakenly identified him as a Iowa congressman. In March, CNN made this mistake.
With @CNN mistakenly suggesting that @RepSwalwell represents Iowa not CA we can see how wide spread our issues are with Intelligence. pic.twitter.com/ung5qFKVsT
— Carson Wannabe (@Carsonwannabe) March 28, 2017
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsIn addition, an appearance in Iowa rarely goes by with Swalwell communicating his law and order credentials by noting his father, Eric Swalwell, Sr., was a former police chief in Algona, IA.
While Swalwell’s childhood roots lie in Iowa, his political ties are derived in the East Bay. To help him navigate Iowa’s 99 counties, Swalwell hired Aaron Fielding as his congressional campaign’s finance director in January 2016. Fielding has ties to Iowa politics after working for the Iowa Democratic Party and serving as campaign manager for a local congressional candidate.
Best part of Iowa #WingDing…Colleen of #MasonCity sharing she remembered me as a boy & the good work my Dad did as a policeman in #Algona. pic.twitter.com/qaUwKcVQAr
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) August 12, 2017
But, Swalwell’s taste for Iowa, however did not just begin over the past year. As the only the representative to endorse recent presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, Swalwell often traveled to Iowa to stump for him starting around the summer of 2015.
The irony of Swalwell brandishing his Iowa roots is that his initial campaign for Congress in 2012 was heavily focused on his Tri Valley roots. He routinely skewered former Rep. Pete Stark by alleging the 40-year-congressman was absent from the district, but that he also lived in Maryland.
The strategy was effective and a large deal of Swalwell’s local strength is derived from the Tri Valley, where is his very popular and in many cases admired in “local boy done good” terms. But very rarely over Swalwell’s five years in office was there any mention that held such strong roots in the plains of Iowa.