Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota officially declared his candidacy for president on Thursday, launching a long-shot Democratic primary challenge to President Joe Biden.
In Concord, where he will file to compete in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, Phillips is anticipated to publicly announce his campaign on Friday.
The three-term congressman has said that the president’s age and low support ratings make him a poor general election candidate.
He recently resigned from his post as the House Democratic leadership owing to internal party dissatisfaction about his suggestions for a Biden substitute.
Still, Phillips’ campaign kickoff occurs at a time when Democrats are trying to coalesce around Biden, repel independent contenders who could wreck the party’s chances, and highlight the administration’s achievements to the public.
Talk of Phillips running has been characterized by Biden friends as a diversion that would simply draw attention to the president’s shortcomings.
The emphasis Phillips’ campaign has placed on the New Hampshire primary is evident in the announcement video.
He talks about his childhood summer vacations to the state in the minute-long clip, where he also defends the state’s long-standing custom of anticipating presidential candidates to participate in retail politics—something Biden will not be doing.
According to two persons with knowledge of the campaign, Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican strategist, is advising Phillips. After working on the campaigns of the late Arizona Senator John McCain and former President George W. Bush, Schmidt quit the Republican Party in 2018.