Pleasanton Weekly

News - September 23, 2011

Dublin Councilman to seek Tri-Valley congressional seat in Democratic primary

Alameda County prosecutor will challenge U.S. Rep. Pete Stark

by Jeb Bing

Eric Swalwell, an Alameda County deputy district attorney and Dublin City Councilman, announced his candidacy Wednesday for Congress in the newly created 15th congressional district.

Swalwell, 30, has filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission for the post and will seek the Democratic Party nomination in the California primary on June 5.

Longtime Congressman Pete Stark (D-Fremont), who currently represents the 9th Congressional District, earlier announced that he will seek re-election to the post in the 15th District Democratic primary.

The 15th is one of the new districts established in the statewide realignment of federal, regional and state voting districts based on the 2010 census.

Swalwell, a graduate of Dublin High School, has served as a prosecutor for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office since 2006, where he has prosecuted more than 1,000 cases and 32 jury trials, including murder, human-trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, burglary and fraud. In 2009, he received the Bay Area Mothers Against Drunk Driving Award for Community Service.

Also in 2006, he was appointed to Dublin's Heritage & Cultural Arts Commission, where he later served as chairman. For two years, starting in 2008, he served on the Dublin Planning Commission and, last year, he was elected to the Dublin City Council. He holds a bachelor's degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, where he also received his law degree.

In an interview, Swalwell said his interest in politics took hold when he served on the City of College Park (Md.) City Council as its student representative. From 2001-02, he worked in Washington, D.C., for Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher when she was still representing the Tri-Valley, assisting with legislative research and constituent outreach and services.

As for challenging veteran Congressman Stark in next year's Democratic primary, Swalwell said he is not running "against" anyone.

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

About 45% of the new 15th Congressional district is in the Tri-Valley. Another 40% is Hayward, Union City and a small part of Fremont. The rest includes Castro Valley and other unincorporated parts of Alameda County.

"Compared to the current 11th Congressional District which Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) serves, the new district is much more contiguous with communities that have more in common," Swalwell said.

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