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Dean Phillips announces he won’t seek reelection to Congress

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Rep. Dean Phillips is forgoing a reelection bid to Congress to focus on his presidential run, the Minnesota Democrat announced Friday.

Phillips, 54, announced in October that he would launch a longshot bid to challenge President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination citing a need for generational change.

Phillips said Friday that after seven years in Congress, it’s time to pass the torch.

“My journey to public service began the morning after the 2016 election, when I faced the reality that democracy requires participation — not observation,” Phillips said in a statement. “Seven years have passed, each presenting historic opportunities to practice a brand of optimistic politics that repairs relationships and improves people’s lives. We have met those moments, and after three terms it is time to pass the torch.”

State Sen. Kelly Morrison and Democratic National Committee member Ron Harris have both announced campaigns for Phillips’ congressional seat.

Phillips’ decision to not run for reelection comes amid a flurry of departures in Congress.