While on a quixotic run for president, Rep. Eric Swalwell skipped more votes than any other elected Democrat in the House of Representatives this session outside of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Swalwell ended his bid for president after just three months last July, all the while missing a whopping 40 percent of all votes in Congress, according to a database compiled by ProPublica.
Swalwell was clearly pre-occuppied with running for president. In prior years, Swalwell’s voting attendance record was relatively strong, although it had steadily increased recently.
Over the course of his congressional career, Swalwell missed just 6.4 percent of his votes in 2017-18, followed by 3.7 percent in 2015-16, and 0.05 percent in 2013-14.
By contrast, fellow Alameda County Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna, have respectively, missed 1.4 percent and 0.06 percent of their votes.
Swalwell’s missed votes are spread throughout the year. Notably, he last missed roll call on June 28. More than a week later, Swalwell dropped out of the presidential race on July 8. He has not missed a vote since.
The astonishing high number of skipped votes had been raised by some potential challengers to Swalwell’s re-election next year as a prime pressure point that could paint him as taking the district’s residents for granted.
The attack line would have been ironic since Swalwell’s based his entire insurgent campaign against Rep. Pete Stark in 2012 on describing the incumbent as out of touch with the electorate and dismissive of their well-being.
Swalwell also skewered Stark for not living in the district. After years of traveling back-and-forth between Washington, D.C. and the district, on a near-weekly basis, Swalwell now rents a town home in the capitol.
Last month, the likely only credible challenger to Swalwell’s re-election next year, Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab, suspended her campaign.