DFL Minnesota Legislators from Dean Phillips’ District ‘Enthusiastically Support’ Joe Biden

by Hank Long


A group of DFL lawmakers on Tuesday made it loud and clear their allegiances lie firmly with President Joe Biden, even as the Democrat congressman who represents their west metro legislative districts is mounting a primary challenge.

On Wednesday, Biden will make his fifth stop in Minnesota since becoming president. He last visited the state in April, when he toured an industrial business park in Fridley.

While the White House in a press release detailing the Nov. 1 visit did not specify all details on Biden’s agenda, a local southern Minnesota television news station, KTTC, is reporting Biden and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will visit a family-owned farm in Northfield, where they will highlight investments the administration “has made in rural America and efforts to support local farmers and communities.”

Although the White House is billing the trip as official White House business to tout the economic success of the legislative packages Biden signed in recent years like the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, those inside Minnesota DFL circles seem to recognize it’s also an effort for the president to rebuff any inroad Democrat Congressman Dean Phillips is trying to make among DFL voters in his home state as he begins his primary campaign against Biden.

Phillips was first elected to Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District seat in 2018, after it had been held by Republicans for decades.

Eight DFL legislators signed a joint statement saying they “enthusiastically support” Biden’s re-election campaign on Tuesday. Rep. Nathan Coulter, DFL-Bloomington, shared that statement on social media.

Others who signed onto the statement endorsing Biden over Phillips include: Reps. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn of Eden Prairie, Kristin Bahner of Maple Grove, Ned Carroll of Plymouth, Mike Nelson of Brooklyn Park, Laurie Pryor of Minnetonka, and Zack Stephenson of Coon Rapids. Sen. Bonnie Westlin, DFL-Plymouth, who last week called for Phillips to resign from his seat in Congress, also signed the statement.

“President Biden is fighting every day for our communities, and is delivering results that are making a difference in our neighbors’ lives,” the statement reads. “He has made historic progress on our shared priorities, like passing the Inflation Reduction Act, creating 11 million new jobs and growing the middle class.”

Biden’s visit follows Phillips’ Friday presidential campaign launch in New Hampshire, where the three-term congressman from the Twin Cities said he is doing it out of a sense of duty as he believes Biden is “likely to lose the election,” because of historically low approval ratings, his advanced age and a few recent national polls showing he trails Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in head-to-head surveys of likely voters.

“With so much on the line in 2024, including reproductive rights and the very fate of democracy, we know that President Biden is the right person to stop Donald Trump and the damage that MAGA Republicans would bring, and to lead our nation forward,” the joint statement from DFL legislators concludes.

Minnesota Republicans said the timing of Biden’s visit “isn’t about repackaging his failed economic policies; it’s about shoring up support with Democrats and blocking Phillip’s campaign from gaining strength” in Minnesota.

“I never thought I’d be writing a press release in agreement with Democratic Congressman Dean Phillips, said Minnesota Republican Party Chairman David Hann. “It could not be more obvious that Biden is coming to Minnesota because of Phillips’ recent announcement and challenge for the Democratic nomination for president.”

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Hank Long is a journalism and communications professional whose writing career includes coverage of the Minnesota legislature, city and county governments and the commercial real estate industry. Hank received his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, where he studied journalism, and his law degree at the University of St. Thomas. The Minnesota native lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and four children. His dream is to be around when the Vikings win the Super Bowl.
Photo “President Joe Biden” by President Joe Biden.





Reprinted with permission from AlphaNewsMN.com

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