Phillips announced his intention to run last spring. Paulsen, first elected in 2008, is now serving his fifth term in the district.
Phillips’ family started 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.
Paulsen defeated State Sen. Terri Bonoff in 2016. Bonoff and the Democrats tried to tie Paulsen to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, though Paulsen never endorsed Trump. Paulsen attacked Bonoff as being an out-of-touch liberal, prone to spending sprees.
The 3rd District encompasses Minneapolis’ western suburbs, from Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park in the north to Wayzata and St. Louis Park in the west, and with Bloomington, Eden Prairie and Chaska in the southwest.