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Tags: dean phillips | 2024 elections | democrat | primaries | challenger | president | campaign

Report: Rep. Dean Phillips to Challenge Biden in Dem Primaries

By    |   Thursday, 19 October 2023 10:05 PM EDT

Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., among the first congressional Democrats to suggest President Joe Biden, 80, should not seek reelection because of his age, reportedly is planning on making a primary challenge against the president.

Phillips, a three-term moderate from Minneapolis' western suburbs, has told House colleagues he is going to challenge Biden, Politico reported Thursday, citing two people familiar with the discussions. Politico reported a third person who has talked to Phillips recently said Phillips was considering it, but when asked directly whether he was running, he said, "We'll see."

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. initially intended to make a primary challenge against Biden, but he decided to run as an independent after accusing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) of rigging the party's primary against him. Kennedy's departure left author and spiritual activist Marianne Williamson as the only Democrat challenger to Biden.

Phillips, 54, is trying to hire top Democrat operatives with presidential campaign experience, The Messenger reported Thursday, citing multiple sources familiar with conversations.

Among those Phillips' team has courted, according to The Messenger, is Bill Burton, a longtime Democratic operative who worked for former President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. But in a post Thursday on X, formerly known as Twitter, Burton wrote: "To be clear, this is not something I took seriously even for a second. Someone asked for a conversation and I wasn't willing to have one."

Politico reported Phillips called New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley last week and reached out to several potential staffers about working in New Hampshire, which is set to have the nation's first presidential primary for both parties, even though the DNC revised the schedule and placed South Carolina first. New Hampshire law requires it to be the first presidential primary.

The Messenger reported Phillips has reached out to Steve Schmidt, who helped co-found the anti-Donald Trump Lincoln Project and served as a senior adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain's failed 2008 presidential campaign. Also, Phillips has contacted Bill Fletcher, a Tennessee-based Democrat consultant, Politico reported, citing a person familiar with the campaign. Schmidt and Fletcher did not immediately respond to requests by Politico for comment.

If Phillips makes a formal announcement, he will need to work fast to get his name on state primary ballots. He missed Monday's deadline to get on Nevada's ballot. Nevada is second on the DNC's revised primary schedule. The filing deadline for New Hampshire is Oct. 27, according to Ballotpedia.

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., among the first congressional Democrats to suggest President Joe Biden, 80, should not seek reelection because of his age, reportedly is planning on making a primary challenge against the president.
dean phillips, 2024 elections, democrat, primaries, challenger, president, campaign
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2023-05-19
Thursday, 19 October 2023 10:05 PM
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