Second Democratic Presidential Contender Drops out of Race, Reveals List of Candidates He Might Endorse

By Zachary Stieber

The second Democratic presidential contender has officially dropped out of the race and is mulling who among those that remain to endorse.

Mike Gravel, 89, a former Alaska Senator, announced plans to drop out on Aug. 1. That follows the withdrawal of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) last month.

Gravel didn’t meet the thresholds for the first or second rounds of debates, and an increased threshold for the next round made it unlikely he would appear then either.

Henry Magowan, the 19-year-old treasurer for the Gravel campaign, told ABC that Gravel is now considering who to endorse.

The choices are Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and author Marianne Williamson, Magowan said.

Democratic Presidential Candidates Participate In First Debate Of 2020 Election Over Two Nights
From left to right, Democratic presidential contenders at a debate at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami, Fla. on June 26, 2019: former housing secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former Rep. Robert ‘Beto’ O’Rourke (D-Texas), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“Those are all names themselves we’ve come to appreciate during this primary campaign, and having seen their performances in the most recent debates, the Senator has great admiration for them and is considering throwing his support behind any number of them,” Magowan said.

Campaign staff will now transition to a think tank dubbed The Gravel Institute.

“The Gravel Institute will write leftist policy papers, with a particular focus on ending the American empire,  reforming our Democracy, [and] direct action by elected officials to end injustice and suffering,” Gravel’s team said on his Twitter account.

“As an example, the Chair of House Oversight could subpoena every migrant in detention—throwing a massive wrench in an inhuman and decrepit immigration machine and singlehandedly forcing change. Bold stands like the one Mike took by reading the Pentagon Papers into the record.”

Gravel’s campaign accused the Democratic National Committee of keeping him off the stage during this week’s debates “even though we qualified.”

Other staff members will be interning at the Jacobin Magazine, the campaign said.

The Democratic field still has over 20 contenders, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and the candidates Gravel is considering endorsing.

The other contenders include Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, businessman Andrew Yang, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) speaks during a press conference at his campaign headquarters where he announced that he is dropping out of the presidential race, in Dublin, Calif., on July 8, 2019. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Swalwell Drops Out

Swalwell became the first Democratic contender to quit the race on July 28.

He told reporters that “polls have had their way” in his decision.

“Today ends our presidential campaign, but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress with a new perspective shaped by the lives that have touched mine and our campaign throughout these last three months to bring that promise of America to all Americans,” Swalwell said, reported CBS.

“I’ll never forget the people I met and lessons I learned while travelling around our great nation. … I will take those lessons back to Congress, serving my friends and neighbors in California’s 15th District while using my seats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees to make our nation safer and uphold the rule of law for all Americans.”

Swalwell said he will win for re-election to his House seat.