It’s primary season, and for the most part, all is quiet on the Democratic front. But Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minnesota) is doing his best to stir things up.

Phillips, who announced his candidacy for president in October 2023, is a Minnesota businessman turned politician. In 2018, he won a traditionally Republican seat representing Minnesota in the House. His tenure has included seats on the Foreign Affairs and Small Business Committees, as well as being co-chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, a position he resigned shortly before announcing his bid for the presidency.

There have been very few challengers to incumbent President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination. Only Phillips and author Marianne Williams have thrown their hats in the ring. But Phillips sees his run as necessary to shake Democrats out of the malaise they seem to have fallen into.

“My party is delusional right now, and somebody had to wake us up,” declared Phillips at a campaign event.


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In New Hampshire on Tuesday, Phillips finished a distant second to Biden despite the president not even being on the ballot.

Phillips has cited the need for Biden to get on the campaign trail so that the threat of another Trump presidency becomes clearer. “If Democrats had a competitive race right now, which I’m trying to create, we would have energy,” he said during a CNN interview. He also offered a challenge to Biden. “If you want to be President again, the only way to possibly win is to get out here.”

Phillips, however, has recently acknowledged the difficulty he faces in seeking the Democratic nomination versus an incumbent president, low approval ratings or not.

He has stated he wants to take his primary bid through the Democratic National Convention but has recently left room for conversation about running as a third-party candidate with No Labels, a group of business interests trying to field a moderate candidate for November.

When pushed about the idea the next day, he clarified, “I cannot imagine that the data would suggest that that would be a path that would be successful.”

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