Why Dean Phillips is not running for reelection to Congress in 2024: ‘Time to pass the torch’

Rep. Dean Phillips, a Minnesota Democrat who is challenging President Joe Biden in the 2024 primary, is taking his own advice to pass the torch.

He has urged the 81-year-old president to make room for a new generation of leaders.

Now, the 54-year-old Phillips is opening up his congressional seat, announcing Friday he would not seek reelection to the U.S. House.

“After three terms it is time to pass the torch,” he said in a statement.

Why Rep. Dean Phillips is challenging Biden in 2024 Democratic primary

Phillips, in a longshot bid for the White House, has been calling on Biden to do the same. Though he has described Biden as a “terrific” president, Phillips has cited his age and bad polls as warning signs for Democrats in the 2024 presidential election.

Top Democrats and donors have remained loyal to Biden while Phillips, a multimillionaire businessman who is self-funding part of his campaign, works to establish name recognition in early primary states.

Phillips becomes one of about a dozen lawmakers who say they will not seek reelection next year as both parties try to win control of Congress.

Two Democrats are already running for his seat, which largely serves suburban Minneapolis: state Sen. Kelly Morrison and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Phillips said the last seven years have presented “historic opportunities” and challenges, including “some of the darkest days in our nation’s history.”

“America has endured for a remarkable 246 years as the longest-lasting democratic republic in the world, but we are facing a crisis of cooperation, common sense, and truth,” he said.

In parting words to his colleagues in Congress, the moderate Phillips said, “No party has a monopoly on solutions, and we must stop fighting one another and begin fighting for one another – before it’s too late.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Why Dean Phillips is not running for reelection to Congress in 2024

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