By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO has learned wealthy Twin Cities businessman Dean Phillips says he will run for Congress against Rep. Erik Paulsen in Minnesota’s 3rd District covering the western suburbs from Eden Prairie to Maple Grove.

Phillips told WCCO’s Jason DeRusha that Republican Rep. Paulsen’s Thursday vote in favor of “Trumpcare,” the health care bill designed to roll-back parts of Obamacare, moved up his timeline to begin the process to declare as a candidate. He said he expects to officially announce in the coming week.

Phillips’ family started the Phillips Distilling Co., a Minneapolis company that created Phillips Vodka and Prairie Organic spirits, he also owned Talenti Gelato. He has sold both of those businesses and in recent years has worked on philanthropic issues and co-founded Penny’s Coffee, a Minneapolis coffee shop near downtown.

Phillips created a Twitter account Friday, tweeting: “@RepErikPaulsen? More like Mis-Representative. Your vote for #TrumpCare betrays the people you serve. #ReadTheBill ’18 can’t come soon enough,” and DFL leaders and activists have been recruiting him after a disappointing showing by former Plymouth mayor and State Representative Terri Bonhoff.

DFL leaders and activists have been recruiting him after a disappointing showing by former State Senator Terri Bonoff.

WCCO reached out to a spokesperson for Paulsen Saturday morning but did not get a response.

Comments (4)
  1. Ooh, very intriguing…I can’t wait to hear what his positions are and what he will do for the 3rd CD.

  2. The reporting in this article has three obvious errors.

    1) It is spelled Bonoff not BONHOFF;

    2) Terri is from Minnetonka and was never mayor of Plymouth; and

    3) Terri was a state Senator and not a state Representative.

    Good thought that we may have a competitive election in 2018.

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