Coronation or Competition: A Conversation w/ Congressman & Presidential Candidate Dean Phillips

In poll after poll, a majority of voters—including loyal Democrats—say they’re frustrated with a Biden-Trump rematch and want more options.

Enter Dean Phillips, a three-term Congressman from Minnesota who announced his campaign for the Democratic nomination in late 2023.

In 2022, Phillips was one of the first Democratic officials to call for Biden not to run for re-election. For more than a year, he urged someone—anyone!—to mount a primary challenge to a vulnerable President. Now he’s starting the primary season as the only Democrat on the New Hampshire primary ballot.

On Tuesday January 16th at 2pm, Open Primaries President John Opdycke welcomed Rep. Phillips to the Open Primaries virtual discussion series. They explored a wide variety of topics including why he’s challenging Biden in the Democratic primaries, why competition in politics matters and how he came to be an advocate for political reform.


Dean Phillips is a three-term Democratic Congressman from Minnesota running for President on a platform of relieving the economic hardship felt by working families, repairing our broken political system, and reimagining the solutions to the most intractable problems plaguing our society. Born in St. Paul and raised in Minneapolis, Dean Phillips lost his birth father Artie in the Vietnam War. He was adopted at a young age into the Phillips family when his mother DeeDee married Eddie Phillips. He worked his way up at his family’s business Phillips Distilling and later went on to help build Talenti Gelato into a top national brand. In 2016, Dean ran for Congress in Minnesota’s 3rd District, flipping the district by 11 points as the first Democrat to win the suburban Minneapolis district in 60 years. In Congress, Dean established his reputation as a problem solver and broke through partisan gridlock by making it a core mission to work across the aisle with Republican colleagues.

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