Former Minneapolis official, others eye U.S. House seat Phillips holds now

a man sits with his hand resting on his chin
Ron Harris, a former chief resilience officer in Minneapolis, began a run for Congress on Friday, entering the race for a seat now held by DFL Rep. Dean Phillips.
Courtesy of Ron Harris

A former Minneapolis city official active in the Democratic National Committee began a run for Congress on Friday, entering the race for a seat now held by DFL Rep. Dean Phillips.

Ron Harris, a former chief resilience officer in Minneapolis, said he would run regardless of whether Phillips seeks a fourth term or leaves the seat open. Phillips is mulling a run for president.

In announcing his bid for Congress, Harris is not waiting for the Democratic incumbent to declare his intentions. And he noted Phillips for the congressman’s consideration of a possible nomination challenge to President Joe Biden.  

“As our congressman contemplates seeking higher office, I’m ready to step up to ensure our voices are heard, our community is represented, and our district gets the resources we need,” Harris said.

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Harris serves on the DNC executive committee and is Midwestern Caucus chair, positions that could help him attract backers and donations.

On social media, Phillips said he welcomes any candidates into the House race.

Phillips said he’ll soon make a decision on running for president. He said he would run because he thinks Biden is on-track to lose to the Republican front-runner, former President Donald Trump, and wants his party to usher in a new generation of leaders.

If the 3rd District seat becomes open, several more candidates will likely run in the western Twin Cities suburban district.

The list of those considering it includes Sen. Kelly Morrison of Deephaven, Rep. Zack Stephenson of Coon Rapids and Secretary of State Steve Simon.

In a statement, Simon said he remains focused on his job coordinating Minnesota elections. “I would only think seriously about a congressional candidacy in the case of a true vacancy, which may not occur for a long time if at all,” he said. 

Stephenson also said he would run only if Phillips steps aside. He said he hopes Phillips runs for re-election because he wants Democrats to be unified in a campaign to stop Trump’s return to office.