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Rep. Phillips to step down from Democratic leadership role

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Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) is stepping down from his Democratic leadership role as he mulls a primary challenge to President Biden.

A spokesperson from Phillips’s office confirmed with The Hill that the congressman will be stepping down from his position as co-chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

“My convictions relative to the 2024 presidential race are incongruent with the majority of my caucus, and I felt it appropriate to step aside from elected leadership to avoid unnecessary distractions during a critical time for our country,” Phillips said in a statement. 

“I celebrate Leader [Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.)] for his remarkable and principled leadership and extend gratitude to my outstanding friends and colleagues for having created space and place for my perspectives,” he added. “I’ll continue to abide by my convictions, place people over politics, and support our shared mission to deliver security, opportunity, and prosperity for all Americans. Onward!”

A spokesperson from Phillips’s office told The Hill that Phillips will remain in his congressional seat and as a member of the Democratic caucus.

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Axios first reported Phillips’s decision to step down.

Phillips, a three-term congressman, has been toying with a potential 2024 bid against Biden for months and has called for a competitive primary, urging other Democrats to jump into the race. He said last week that he has not “ruled it out,” but added that it is a “steep slope” as there are other Democrats with more prominent name recognition.  

Phillips had previously signaled that he would not challenge Biden but said in August that he would make a firm decision on his 2024 plans in September. It is still unclear whether he will make a move to challenge his party’s leader. 

There are already two Democratic challengers to Biden in the primary: Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has teased a “major” announcement amid rumors he could run as an independent. 

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Source: The Hill

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