By all reports, Dean Phillips (DFL) should have little trouble securing the DFL endorsement on Saturday because he too has locked up the support again because of the support from the DCCC, they like rich people. Many people are toeing the line because of Phillips personal wealth, but he has not yet made a pledge to commit any amount to his campaign. He is an interesting candidate, with an interesting history with the Phillips Distilleries.
His ties are not very strong in the 3rd Congressional District, but the potentiality of a deep pocket has people overlooking that fact. His opponent Adam Jennings, a veteran and a local officeholder looks more appealing on paper, but money is the primary focus in this contest. We have heard questions about Phillips voter registration in 2016 because he still had a residence in Minneapolis at the time. This is easily explained if the right paperwork is provided, but not something his Republican opponent Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-03) is likely to let rest.
Our experience with Paulsen dates back to his days in the state legislature as House Majority Leader. We know him well, unlike the assembled Phillips Campaign Team, but then the rocket scientists there led by Zach Rodvold, helped the DFL House to lose members in back-to-back elections. Yes, Richard Cardblom did deliver a defeat of the Constitutional Amendment banning Gay Marriage, but the following push for legalization, likely cost the DFL its House majority.
A Phillips win will solidify the DCCC role in this election and we expect a major focus on an anti-Trump message, might be beneficial throughout the state.