Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, who represents Minnesota’s Third Congressional District, including Eden Prairie, announced Friday he will not seek reelection to Congress in 2024.
Phillips, 54, currently serving his third term in Congress, will focus on his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, challenging President Joe Biden.
The Wayzata resident released a statement from his office, reflecting on his experience in public service.
As a politician, Phillips describes himself as a centrist and pragmatic problem-solver, emphasizing his dedication to bipartisan cooperation and finding practical solutions to issues. Before entering politics, Phillips worked in the business world, including positions in his family’s liquor business and at Talenti Gelato.
“My journey to public service began the morning after the 2016 election when I faced the reality that democracy requires participation — not observation,” Phillips stated. “Seven years have passed, each presenting historic opportunities to practice a brand of optimistic politics that repairs relationships and improves people’s lives. We have met those moments, and after three terms, it is time to pass the torch.”
Phillips said serving with his colleagues in Congress during some of the “darkest days in our nation’s history was an honor of a lifetime.”
The press release noted that Phillips’ tenure has overlapped with major U.S. events, including the longest government shutdown, an insurrection, two presidential impeachments, and the COVID-19 crisis.
He remarked that the country, which has endured for “a remarkable 246 years as the longest-lasting democratic republic in the world,” faces a crisis of cooperation, common sense, and truth.
“Civility matters, respect matters, listening matters, and effective governance matters,” Phillips stated. “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.”
Phillips praised his constituents in the district, calling it “the most engaged in the nation.” He credited them for making his role the most joyful job he has ever had.
In the press release, Phillips highlighted his congressional achievements, including creating a pathway to citizenship for Liberian refugees and authoring the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Law. He also held key positions, such as ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Central Asia, and vice chair of the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.
“I always say representation begins with listening, and your diverse and respectful voices epitomize the best of America,” he said. “I am confident my successor will serve with innovation, integrity, and fortitude – because you will demand it, and all Americans deserve it.”
Regarding the future, Phillips expressed optimism “as long as we have the courage and make the choice to see it. Keep the faith!”
Reaction to Phillips’ decision
The announcement of the third-term congressman’s presidential campaign in October has sparked early interest in Minnesota’s Third Congressional District seat. With Phillips officially not seeking reelection for a fourth term, more candidates are anticipated to emerge.
Already, two candidates have declared their intentions to run: Ron Harris, a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) executive committee member and former chief resilience officer for the City of Minneapolis, and state Sen. Kelly Morrison (DFL-45, Deephaven), who also practices as an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN).
According to the StarTribune, no prominent Republicans have declared their candidacy for the seat yet. In 2018, Phillips became the first Democrat in over 50 years to win the district, which covers the western suburbs of the Twin Cities.
In response to Phillips’ announcement, Harris and Morrison issued social media statements on Friday.
Harris thanked Phillips for his service and outlined his campaign goals. “It’s time for a new generation of leadership to take on the apathy and cynicism in our politics, fix what’s broken in our system, and stand up for working families,” he wrote. Harris also noted his potential to be the district’s first Black representative.
Morrison praised Phillips for his congressional work and expressed her commitment to the district. “This election will be critical for Minnesota and our country,” Morrison wrote. She highlighted her stance as a pro-choice OB-GYN and her efforts to protect abortion rights in Minnesota, aiming to continue this advocacy in Congress.
We offer several ways for our readers to provide feedback. Your comments are welcome on our social media posts (Facebook, X, Instagram, Threads, and LinkedIn). We also encourage Letters to the Editor; submission guidelines can be found on our Contact Us page. If you believe this story has an error or you would like to get in touch with the author, please connect with us.