U.S. Rep. Phillips Won’t Seek Re-election, Will Focus on Presidential Bid
Thanksgiving weekend produced a political shakeup in the Twin Cities’ northwest suburbs. U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips announced on Friday he won’t seek re-election to his House seat in 2024, even if his presidential bid doesn’t gain traction.
Phillips represents the Third Congressional District, which includes Maple Grove, Plymouth and Brooklyn Park. He was first elected to the U.S. House in 2018.
In late October, Phillips announced a challenge to President Joe Biden in a Democratic primary. The three-term representative pointed to Biden’s low polling numbers as one of the reasons for deciding to launch a presidential campaign.
Phillips has said he wants to “pass the torch” to another Democrat and to focus on his presidential campaign as reasons for not seeking another House election. He mentioned it would be “both unproductive and uncomfortable” if he returned to Congress in an interview with the Star Tribune.
“Seven years have passed, each presenting historic opportunities to practice a brand of optimistic politics that repairs relationships and improves people’s lives,” said Phillips in a statement to CCX News.
The congressman went on to say that the nation is facing “a crisis of cooperation, common sense, and truth.”
“Civility matters, respect matters, listening matters, and effective governance matters,” he said. “No party has a monopoly on solutions, and we must stop fighting one another and begin fighting for one another – before it is too late.”
During his service in Congress, his tenure included the end of the longest federal government shutdown in the nation’s history, a violent and deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and two presidential impeachments.
In an effort to find common ground, Phillips served as vice chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. He pointed to the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, which he authored and was signed into law by former President Donald Trump, as one of his legislative highlights. The legislation made federal pandemic assistance more accessible for independent small business owners that he heard from during listening sessions in the CCX News viewing area.
Candidates Running for House
Two Democratic candidates have already announced campaigns for the Third District seat: state Sen. Kelly Morrison and Democratic National Committee member Ron Harris. A third possible candidate, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, has said he would consider a run.
Until Phillips’ election, no Democrat had served in the district in nearly 60 years.
As for Republican candidates, only one has stepped forward so far: Blaize Harty, who owns a dock and lift business on Medicine Lake in Plymouth.