Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., announced his candidacy for president on Friday, becoming the first elected Democrat to challenge President Joe Biden for the nomination.
Phillips made his declaration in Concord, New Hampshire. Phillips made the remarks near the Secretary of State’s office, where he also filed his official paperwork to appear on the state’s primary ballot. During his remarks, the Minnesota Democrat addressed the rising cost of living, gun violence and change in Washington, D.C.
Phillips also made it clear during his speech that he is not running against President Biden, who he called a friend, but rather running to “secure a more prosperous future” for America.
Following his official remarks, while holding an on-cam gaggle with reporters, Phillips mentioned President Biden again and other aging lawmakers in Congress. He said the country needs additional options to consider for the upcoming Presidential election.
Phillips becomes the fourth person to challenge Biden for the nomination, joining author and advocate Marianne Williamson, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and “The Young Turks” founder and host Cenk Uygur. Kennedy has since decided to run as an independent.
Phillips is a relative newcomer to Capitol Hill. He was elected in 2018, after unseating a five-term Republican. In the biography on his congressional website, Phillips describes himself as Gold Star Son who lost his father in the Vietnam War. He was then adopted into the Phillips family.
According to CBS News affiliate WCCO, before entering the world of politics, Phillips was heir to his stepfather’s Phillips Distilling Company empire. He once served as that company’s president, but also ran the gelato maker Talenti.