Dublin Councilman to Run for Congressional Seat

Adam Zentner

Alameda County deputy district attorney and Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell announced on Wednesday that he will be running against current Congressman Pete Stark for the Congressional seat in the newly created 15th District in California in the 2012 election.

The 15th District was created as a result of the 2010 census redistricting based on population, and will include Fremont, Hayward, Union City and Castro Valley, as well as a few other cities and unincorporated areas in the Tri-Valley area.

Stark, who is currently the Congressman for the 9th District, is seeking re-election for his 21st term in the 15th District.

Swalwell intends to take the district for himself.

At his press conference, Swalwell said “I am running for the people who want a new voice, new energy and new ideas in a new district. In these tough economic times, I think people want bold action and leadership, so that’s why I am stepping up to the plate.”

Swalwell added further “I freely admit I do not have much experience in Washington. Some people see that as a weakness; I believe it’s my greatest strength. If you are happy with the way things are going in Washington, I’m not your man.”

Swalwell’s “fresh blood” approach could appeal greatly to voters, considering that opinions about Congressional progress are at an all-time low.

According to a Gallup poll, 82 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is doing their jobs.

Swalwell has called himself “a proud Democrat…who will work with anyone who has good ideas and is willing to work with me to solve our problems” and has addressed that “This district deserves a leader who understands its issues,” though he insists that “not running against anyone” but rather for “principles that politicians lose sight of when they serve for too long.”

Congressman Stark issued a statement saying “[Swalwell] called me some time ago and said he was thinking about it, and I told him then I hoped that he wouldn’t. I think I’ll beat him handily.”

“As far as I know, I have most of the Democratic endorsements, for how much that helps, and I guess he’ll have to raise a lot of money,” continued Stark. “My guess is that if he gets in the race, a lot of people will get in the race, which helps me and makes his job even tougher.”

Swalwell so far has endorsements from Livermore Mayor Marshall Kamena and Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, who was Swalwell’s high school economics teacher.

Swalwell has been a prosecutor for Alameda County since 2006 and was elected to Dublin’s Heritage & Cultural Arts Commission, where he later served as chairman.

Swalwell was elected to Dublin City Council last year, and holds a bachelor’s degree in government and politics as well as a law degree from the University of Maryland.