Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) is reportedly set to launch a presidential campaign in Concord, New Hampshire, on October 27, challenging President Joe Biden for the Democrat Party’s nomination.
This move would be a significant step for the Minnesota congressman, who stepped down from his House leadership position over his 2024 flirtation, sparking tension within the caucus. Phillips has been vocal about his objections to the president, who he believes would need to be “15-20 years younger” to earn a forceful endorsement.
Phillips has taken several steps toward solidifying a run of his own, including outreach to potential staffers and top New Hampshire Democrats. He has also told fellow House members that he plans to launch a challenge to Biden. However, his potential run is already stirring anger and frustration among Democrats in Washington and New Hampshire, who argue that such a challenge unnecessarily weakens Biden as he embarks upon a difficult reelection battle.
Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) and Phillips discussed his possible primary challenge, and Kuster shared her concerns with the lawmaker. Some members of his Minnesota delegation seemed resigned to the possibility. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), added that she told Phillips she was supporting Biden.
An event next Friday coincides with the deadline to file for a presidential run in the state, but the deadline has already passed to compete in the primary in Nevada, another early nominating state. New Hampshire, which was stripped of its first-in-the-nation primary status by the Democratic National Committee, could leave an opening for a primary challenger, like Phillips, to win the first presidential contest — even if it comes with no DNC delegates.