State Sen. Kelly Morrison launches bid for Phillips' U.S. House seat

Woman smiles
DFL Senator Kelly L. Morrison, a physician from Deephaven, Minn., has served in the Legislature for five years.
Minnesota State Senate

State Sen. Kelly Morrison launched a bid for Congress in Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District, becoming the second Democrat to announce a bid for a seat where the incumbent — U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips — is running for president.

Morrison, a physician from Deephaven, Minn., has served in the Legislature for five years. In a campaign announcement, Morrison said she would use her experience as an OB-GYN to advocate in Congress for continued abortion access. She also touted her work carrying bipartisan legislation in St. Paul.

“As an OB-GYN who still sees patients, I know what it’s like to see my patients struggle to afford the medicine they need to thrive and I know how important it is that women are able to make their own health care decisions, not the government or politicians,” Morrison said.

Morrison helped spearhead legislation this year that guaranteed access to reproductive health care, eliminated some state restrictions on abortion and created a state Prescription Drug Affordability Board.

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Morrison joins a race for the seat now held by Rep. Phillips, who launched his bid for president late last month. Phillips hasn’t said if he’ll fall back to a House race if he’s unsuccessful. Former Minneapolis city official Ron Harris has also announced a bid for the seat.

On X, the site formerly known as Twitter, Phillips welcomed Morrison to the race. The two are viewed as politically close and Phillips wrote “healthy democracies promote competition, don’t limit it, and voters appoint their Representatives, not a person or political party.”

He added, “Same should be true for presidents.”

State Rep. Zack Stephenson, of Coon Rapids, and Secretary of State Steve Simon have also said they are mulling campaigns. No Republicans have announced an intention to run in the district that has swung in the Democrats’ direction in recent years.

State Senate seats aren’t on the 2024 ballot, so the congressional campaign won’t require Morrison to choose between them.