State Sen. Kelly Morrison (DFL-45, Deephaven) formally launched her campaign for Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District Sunday evening during an event featuring former two-term Gov. Mark Dayton.
Morrison, a practicing OB-GYN, is running for U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips’ seat. Phillips is in the middle of his longshot campaign for president, and last month he announced he would not seek reelection for a fourth term in 2024.
Former Minneapolis city official Ron Harris is also running for the Democratic nomination in the 3rd District.
Morrison told a crowd of supporters at a Minnetonka brewery that she’s running for Congress to expand progress that Minnesota has made on abortion rights, lowering prescription drug prices and improving maternal health care — among other issues — beyond the state’s borders to the rest of the country.
“I am so proud of all that we accomplished this past session. We passed legislation that will make real change in people’s lives,” Morrison said. “But y’all, it’s time to take it to the national level.”
Minnesota’s 3rd District was a reliable Republican district before Phillips was elected in 2018. It encompasses western Twin Cities suburbs, including Edina, Eden Prairie, Coon Rapids, Rogers and Bloomington.
Dayton, who said he’s known Morrison since she was one day old, said the first-term senator is a proven winner in a purple district.
“It’s essential to keep this seat Democratic, and that matters not only for our state but for the entire country,” Dayton said. “Because most pundits say the Senate is gonna go Republican, and if, God forbid, Donald Trump comes back, the U.S. House of Representatives will be the last bastion of democracy in Washington, and that’s why we need Kelly to be there.”
Morrison’s current Senate term ends in 2026, and she said if she wins the congressional seat next year, she would step down from her state Senate seat. A special election would determine her replacement.
Morrison, who’s already racked up a bevy of endorsements from her legislative colleagues, won her first election to the state House in 2018 by 216 votes and her second by 313 votes. Last year, Morrison won her Senate seat by over 12 points.
The Senate DFL clings to a 34-33 majority, and Morrison said in an interview that she’s confident a Democrat can win her seat if she steps down.
“I will do everything I can to help that person get elected,” Morrison said.
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