Nov 9, 2023 - Politics

Democrat Kelly Morrison announces run for U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips' congressional seat

Sen. Kelly Morrison. Photo: Minnesota Legislature

Another Minnesota Democrat has entered the race for U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips' congressional seat.

Driving the news: State Sen. Kelly Morrison, (DFL-Deephaven) launched her bid for the suburban Twin Cities' 3rd Congressional District on Thursday, rolling out high-profile endorsements from former DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and from Sarah Stoesz, the past president of Planned Parenthood North Central States.

Why it matters: Phillips' decision to primary President Biden sets the stage for a potentially crowded race for the one-time swing district.

State of play: Ron Harris, a Democratic National Committee official, became the first to jump in the 3rd District race in October.

  • Several other Democrats, including Secretary of State Steve Simon and DFL Rep. Zack Stephenson, have indicated that they are weighing bids.

What they're saying: Morrison, an OB-GYN first elected to a west metro swing district in 2018, highlighted her work on health care costs and abortion rights in a Thursday release announcing her campaign.

  • "As someone who still sees patients, I know what it's like to see my patients struggle to afford the medicines that they need to stay healthy," she said in an interview.. " And as an OB-GYN, I know how important it is that women — not the government — make health care decisions about their own bodies."

The intrigue: Phillips hasn't ruled out running for re-election himself if his longshot presidential bid fails. Morrison said she felt Democrats need to "get going to make sure that we have the best possible representation" given his current presidential ambitions.

  • "I don't want to speculate on hypotheticals," she said when asked if she'd continue her campaign if he does seek another term in Congress. "But he's running for president, and so I'm focusing on my district at home."

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from Morrison.


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