In his bid for the highest elected position in the United States, Tri-Valley Congressman Eric Swalwell doesn't want to hear about the odds, and neither do his supporters.
After announcing his candidacy on the "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Swalwell joined a deep field of Democrats who have thrown their hats into the ring, and in order to help grow his recognition, the 38-year-old Dublin native held a hometown rally to drum up support last Sunday.
"Now I know that the mountain I face is steep. You may have heard there are a few other Democrats interested in the job. Most of them have more name recognition right now than I do, at least outside this city," Rep. Swalwell said at his campaign rally held at his alma mater, Dublin High School. "That probably should discourage me, it may discourage you... (but) I've got you, we've got each other and we can do this."
As of Sunday, 19 Democrats from across the country have announced their candidacy for President, many of which have been serving in the political world for much longer than Swalwell -- resulting in many referring to the fourth term congressman as a long-shot candidate. But Swalwell's enthusiasm, as well as that of his supporters present on Sunday, does not seem to have been dampened by this label.
"The first day I met him I decided this was a young man who was going to do great things in the community and has a passion for helping people," Danville Town Councilman Newell Arnerich told the Weekly. "And as you know when he ran against all odds against the party to run for Congress and won big. You know he really is bold."
More than 1,000 residents gathered for the hometown rally, where Swalwell spoke about a variety of pressing issues he will address if elected President, chief among those being affordable healthcare and college tuition, government integrity and possibly his biggest focus, gun legislation.
The crowd showed a diversity in the age of his supporters, many of whom were high school and college students or senior citizens.
"I believe in a lot of the things he believes in and it's my dream to go into politics ... people should vote for Eric because he is what the Democrats need," said Anya Gewirtz, a 16-year-old Amador Valley High School student volunteering for Swalwell's campaign. "I feel like he is very genuine in what he is saying ... And I feel like that's a good sign for his ability to connect with the American people and all different types of voters."
Swalwell has already had a busy campaign season, having also visited South Carolina, Iowa and Florida, Nevada and New Hampshire in the week-plus after announcing his presidential candidacy.
And speculation is building about the future of his congressional seat.
Though focused on his presidential campaign, Swalwell hasn't confirmed which position he'll formally file election papers for -- a decision likely due closer to December's filing deadline and dependent upon the momentum of his White House bid.
Still, first-year Hayward City Councilwoman Aisha Wahab last week announced her candidacy for the 15th Congressional District seat, the first candidate to officially declare since Swalwell's presidential bid.