This Democratic representative launched a primary challenge against Biden

Dean Phillips stepped off of his campaign bus at the New Hampshire Statehouse where he filed a declaration of candidacy to run for the New Hampshire presidential primary on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, in Concord, N.H.
Dean Phillips stepped off of his campaign bus at the New Hampshire Statehouse where he filed a declaration of candidacy to run for the New Hampshire presidential primary on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, in Concord, N.H. | Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune via Associated Press

After months of hinting about a potential presidential run in 2024, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota launched a campaign Friday, challenging President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination.

“I am today announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America,” he said at an event outside the New Hampshire statehouse, according to The Associated Press.

Phillips, 54, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday. He also faces self-help author Marianne Williamson in the Democratic primary.

“I think President Biden has done a spectacular job for our country, but it’s not about the past. This is an election about the future,” Phillips told CBS News in a clip posted online. “I will not sit still, I will not be quiet in the face of numbers that are so clearly saying that we’re going to be facing an emergency next November.”

This news comes after Phillips spent months encouraging other Democratic politicians — “who are more proximate, better prepared to campaign with national organizations, national name recognition, which I do not possess” — to jump into the race, especially because Biden hasn’t been fairing well in the polls.

He may not be as well-positioned compared to other Democrats speculated to be eyeing a run for the White House, like California Gov. Gavin Newsom. But he was able to flip a red seat in Minnesota in 2018, for the first time in six decades, and won reelection twice with great ease.

It also helps that he is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, with an estimated net worth of over $120 million thanks to his family business, the Phillips Distilling Company, a Minnesota-based distillery, and his stake as co-owner of Talenti, a popular gelato company.

Dean Phillips 2024 campaign launch prompts pushback from Democrats

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a press conference on Monday that the Biden administration appreciates “the congressman’s almost 100% support of this president, as he’s moved forward with some really important, key legislative priorities for the American people.”

But his popularity might be dwindling after his campaign filed for the primary in New Hampshire. The state is traditionally the first to nominate a Democratic candidate, but for 2024, the Democratic National Committee and Biden had picked South Carolina to start with, in hopes of connecting with the party’s local voters.

The Democratic National Committee has no plans to hold a primary debate.

The Minnesota congressman was a popular member of his party until he began calling for others to challenge Biden in a primary, which led to his resignation as the co-chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Caucus, as NBC News reported.

His campaign adviser told Politico that Phillips will focus on New Hampshire, South Carolina and Michigan.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, said he respected Phillips but did not agree with his decision.

“First of all, Dean is a friend of mine. I respect him greatly. I disagree with this. It is not going to have any impact whatsoever on this. Joe Biden’s our nominee. And I hope this just, I hope for Dean he’s all right on this one, but it’s not going to make any difference. Our nominee is the president,” Walz told ABC News.