U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips has stepped away from Democratic House leadership.
Phillips relinquished his spot as co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Caucus on Sunday.
He has been vocal about recruiting a Democratic challenger to President Joe Biden and hasn’t ruled out doing it himself. He says those efforts are out of step with the majority of his caucus. Phillips says he doesn't want his leadership position to be a distraction.
Phillips will continue to represent the people of Minnesota’s 3rd District in the House and remain a member of the Democratic Caucus, according to an emailed statement from his office.
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“My convictions relative to the 2024 presidential race are incongruent with the majority of my caucus, and I felt it appropriate to step aside from elected leadership to avoid unnecessary distractions during a critical time for our country,” Phillips said in the statement.
Two months ago, Phillips encouraged other Democrats to challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination.
“Democrats are telling me that they want, not a coronation, but they want a competition,” Phillips said on CBS’s Face the Nation in August.
“If we don’t heed that call, shame on us. And the consequences, I believe, are going to be disastrous.” Phillips said. “So, my call is to those who are well positioned, well prepared, of good character and competency — they know who they are — to jump in, because Democrats and the country need competition.”
Phillips was elected to a third term last year to a seat representing the western Twin Cities suburbs.