Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., speaks during the news conference on the Invest to Protect Act outside the Capitol on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Rep. Dean Phillips, the Minnesota Democrat challenging President Joe Biden for their party’s presidential nomination, announced Friday that he will not seek reelection to Congress in 2024.
“After three terms it is time to pass the torch,” Phillips said in a statement.
“No party has a monopoly on solutions, and we must stop fighting one another and begin fighting for one another – before it is too late,” Phillips said in Friday’s statement. He warned that America is in the grip of “a crisis of cooperation, common sense, and truth.”
“The future is very bright, as long as we have the courage and make the choice to seek it. Keep the faith!” he said.
The congressman’s call for unity may not resonate with his fellow Democrats, some of whom have criticized Phillips since he mounted a longshot primary bid against the incumbent president last month.
Biden, who announced his own reelection campaign months earlier, has rarely commented on Phillips’ challenge.
“Congressman Phillips has voted for nearly 100% of President Biden’s policies, and the President will miss his support for the Biden-Harris legislative agenda,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement to NBC News later Friday.
Phillips has said he is running for president to strengthen the Democratic ticket in light of polls showing low approval for Biden and his administration.
Some recent surveys have found former President Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner in the 2024 Republican primary, beating Biden in several key primary states.
CNBC reported earlier in November that Phillips is seeing little support from major donors in his home state of Minnesota, and has been asked by some of his previous financial backers to hand back their donations.
On Wednesday, Phillips issued an apology for telling The Atlantic that he has heard “from others who know her” that Vice President Kamala Harris is “not well-prepared, doesn’t have the right disposition and the right competencies to execute that office.”
After the comments spurred a Democratic backlash, Phillips wrote on X that he “shouldn’t have referenced other people’s opinions,” adding that he apologizes to Harris “and everyone who’s been affected by similar circumstances.”
Phillips flipped his Minnesota’s Third Congressional District blue in 2018 and won his most election in 2022 by double digits. Democratic National Committee member Ron Harris last month announced a primary campaign for Phillips’ district.
Phillips is a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. His current term in the House ends on Jan. 3, 2025.