Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., announced his decision not to seek reelection in 2024
Rep. Dean Phillips, a Minnesota Democrat who challenged President Joe Biden for their party’s presidential nomination, made the surprising announcement on Friday that he will not seek reelection to Congress in 2024. Phillips, who flipped his state’s Third Congressional District blue in 2018, won his most recent election in 2022 by double digits.
Time to Pass the Torch
“After three terms it is time to pass the torch,” Phillips stated. He also called for unity, stating that no party has a monopoly on solutions and that it is essential to stop fighting each other and start fighting for one another. Phillips expressed concern that America is in the grip of “a crisis of cooperation, common sense, and truth.” However, he also emphasized that the future is bright as long as people have the courage and make the choice to seek it.
Challenge and Criticism
Phillips’ call for unity may not resonate with fellow Democrats, as he has faced criticism since mounting a longshot primary bid against the incumbent president last month. President Biden, who had announced his own reelection campaign months earlier, rarely commented on Phillips’ challenge. Nonetheless, White House spokesman Andrew Bates stated that the president will miss Phillips’ support for the Biden-Harris legislative agenda, as the congressman had voted for nearly 100% of President Biden’s policies.
Building the Democratic Ticket
Phillips has stated that he is running for president to strengthen the Democratic ticket in light of polls showing low approval for Biden and his administration. Recent surveys have indicated that former President Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner in the 2024 Republican primary, is beating Biden in several key primary states.
Challenges and Apologies
Earlier in November, it was reported that Phillips is seeing little support from major donors in his home state of Minnesota and has been asked by some of his previous financial backers to return their donations. Phillips also issued an apology for comments he made about Vice President Kamala Harris, stating that he “shouldn’t have referenced other people’s opinions” and expressed regret to Harris and those affected by similar circumstances.
Phillips’ current term in the House ends on January 3, 2025. Despite his decision not to seek reelection, he has left a lasting impact on Minnesota’s political landscape and the Democratic Party.