"I'm ready to solve these problems. I'm running for president of the United States," said Swalwell, whose announcement was greeted with cheers from Colbert's audience.
"Boy did it feel good to say that," exclaimed the 38-year-old, four-term congressman, who was born in Iowa, but grew up in Dublin, California.
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Swalwell was first elected to city council in Dublin in 2010. Two years later, he was elected to congress, beating 20 term incumbent, Pete Stark.
Rep. Swalwell is now one of 18 democrats running in a crowded primary field.
"I think he's going to have to do something different than the other candidates. He's going to have to figure out a way to stand out," said Kimberly Dorsey, who lives in Castro Valley and met Swalwell when he was running to represent California's 15th district, in the East Bay. "I like that he's hands on with the community."
Chad Bayless has lived in Livermore his whole life and doesn't think his congressman has enough name or policy recognition.
"I've heard of him, I know he's represented the area, but I don't know a lot about his politics exactly."
In a video released Monday, Swalwell stresses health care, climate change, and gun control.
"The guns is a winning issue that I think he will have a lot of influence on," said James Taylor, a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco.
Taylor says it's going to be a struggle for Swalwell, who has yet to even register in the early polls, to become a top tier candidate.
"He faces a real challenge of redundancy both with Pete Buttigieg, as a millennial candidate... and then there's redundancy with Kamala Harris, as a Californian."
Taylor also points out that the only member of the House of Representatives, to run as a member of the House and win the Presidency, was James Garfield in 1881.
So historically speaking, Taylor says the odds are stacked against Swalwell.
Swalwell has a kickoff rally Sunday at Dublin High School. Go here for details.