He was a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 1986 until he dropped out after inaccuracies about his military record were revealed. A real estate broker and a Wellesley, Massachusetts Town Meeting Member, Switzler was first elected to the in 1972. In 1974, redistricting forced Switzler to face fellow Republican representative Bruce Zeiser in the newly created 15th Norfolk District.
Zeiser defeated Switzler 1,939 votes to 1,803.
Zeiser did not run for re-election in 1976 and Switzler ran to succeed him. He defeated Edwina Giles in the Republican primary and David J. Daly in the general election.
During his tenure as State Representative, Switzler was described as an "outspoken" and "vociferous" critic of the House leadership and as "an unsufferable windbag" who continuously used dilatory motions and tactics to delay the legislative process. Switzler co-wrote the property tax law known as Proposition 2½, which was passed by ballot initiative in 1980.
In 1985 he sponsored a successful bill that prevented the Department of Social Services from placing foster children with homosexual couples.
At the 1986 Massachusetts Republican Convention, Switzler was drafted by Republicans who opposed the nomination of Greg Hyatt after an unsuccessful attempt to get former Congressman Paul West. Cronin to enter the race. After winning the nomination, Switzler resigned his House seat to focus on his campaign full-time. In June, Switzler dropped out of the race after inaccuracies about his military record were revealed.
In 2010, Switzler ran as a write-in candidate for his old House seat.
He had falsely claimed to be a member of the United States Army Special Forces and stated that he had fought in Vietnam when he had only visited Vietnam on leave from noncombat duty in of Korea. From 1991 to 2000, Switzler was a member of the Wellesley Board of Selectmen.