Eric Swalwell becomes first Democratic candidate to pull out of White House race

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Eric Swalwell speaks during the Democratic primary debate (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Eric Swalwell is ending his presidential bid, becoming the first candidate in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary to exit the campaign.

Mr Swalwell, a US representative from California, announced his decision on Monday.

He had signalled that he would consider bowing out of the presidential race if he was in danger of missing the cutoff for the next nationally televised Democratic debate, which is based on separate polling and donor qualifications.

Montana governor Steve Bullock missed the threshold for last month’s debate but was ahead of Mr Swalwell in the competition for this month’s televised Democratic face-off before the four-term California congressman exited the primary.