The Most Popular Biography of Dean Phillips

Dean Phillips, full name Dean Benson Phillips, born on January 20, 1969, is an American entrepreneur and statesman who has held the position of U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District since 2019. 

His congressional district covers the western suburbs of the Twin Cities, including locales like Bloomington, Minnetonka, Edina, Maple Grove, Plymouth, and Eden Prairie. 

Affiliated with the Democratic Party, Phillips has an impressive record of business ventures, having founded and owned multiple companies. 

He has also served as the President and CEO of the Phillips Distilling Company, his family’s liquor enterprise, and was formerly a co-owner of Talenti Gelato. Additionally, he co-owns Penny’s Coffee.

In his initial electoral victory in 2018, Phillips defeated the six-term Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen, effectively turning a district that had long been a Republican stronghold. 

This triumph marked the first time a Democrat secured the seat since 1958, and he has subsequently secured reelection twice. Phillips is often characterized as a centrist and a moderate Democrat. 

Notably, his wealth, estimated at $77 million in 2018, ranks him among the most affluent members of Congress.

In 2023, he declared his intention to challenge the incumbent President Joe Biden for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the 2024 presidential election.

Dean Phillips’s Early Life

Dean Benson Phillips entered the world on January 20, 1969, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His formative years were shadowed by sorrow, as his biological father, Artie Pfefer, tragically lost his life in the Vietnam War when Dean was a mere six months old.

Nonetheless, the family discovered a fresh start when his mother, DeeDee, wed Eddie Phillips, the heir to the Phillips Distilling Company and the son of the renowned advice columnist Pauline Phillips. This marriage would profoundly influence the trajectory of Dean’s life.

In the early 1970s, the family relocated from Saint Paul to the suburban town of Edina. Here, Dean began his educational journey, attending The Blake School. Little did he know that this early education would set the stage for his future endeavors.

The Academic and Business Path

After completing his high school education, Dean Phillips pursued higher studies at Brown University, where he graduated in 1991. While at Brown, he became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, forging valuable connections that would prove significant in the future.

After graduation, Dean initially worked for InMotion, a company specializing in bicycle equipment and apparel. However, his family’s legacy and business acumen beckoned, and he transitioned to join the corporate office of the Phillips Distilling Company. This began his journey in the family’s liquor business, which he would later lead as President and CEO.

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In his relentless pursuit of enhanced knowledge and qualifications, Dean earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in 2000.

Armed with this additional expertise, he took the reins as President and CEO of Phillips Distilling Company, where he would guide the company for over a decade.

Ventures Beyond the Family Business

While his role at Phillips Distilling Company was significant, Dean Phillips was content to expand his business ventures to various domains.

He delved into other corporate investments, including a stint as the co-owner of Talenti Gelato. This endeavor took him beyond the liquor industry and into frozen desserts.

Talenti gelato eventually transitioned into new hands, being sold to Unilever in 2014, but this didn’t mark the end of Dean’s entrepreneurial spirit.

In 2016, he embarked on a fresh venture by founding Penny’s Coffee, a chain of coffee shops. By 2022, Penny’s Coffee had two locations in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, demonstrating Dean’s ability to diversify his business interests.

The Political Ascent

Dean Phillips’ transition into politics occurred in 2018 when he ran for the United States House of Representatives in Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district.

As a member of the Democratic Party, he faced the challenge of unseating the incumbent Republican, Erik Paulsen, who had held the position for six terms.

In the Democratic primary, Dean faced off against Cole Young, a former sales associate, and secured a resounding victory with 81.6% of the vote, winning all three counties in the district.

The general election would prove even more historic, as he defeated Erik Paulsen with 55.6% of the vote, making him the first Democrat to represent the district since 1961.

Reelection and Bipartisanship

Dean’s political journey continued as he sought reelection in 2020. He faced a Democratic primary challenge from Cole Young once more, securing an impressive 90.7% of the vote. In the general election, he went up against businessman Kendall Qualls and emerged victorious with 55.6% of the vote.

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During his tenure in Congress, Dean Phillips strongly aligned with President Joe Biden’s policy positions, voting in line with the 100% of the time, making him one of the more liberal members of the 117th Congress.

His commitment to bipartisanship was further underscored by his high ranking in a bipartisanship study conducted by the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

Committees and Caucuses

Dean Phillips actively participated in several Congressional committees, such as the Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he held the position of Ranking Member for the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia.

He also served on the Committee on Small Business, working on the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access, as well as the Subcommittee on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Workforce Development.

Alongside his committee duties, Dean also held membership in the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, the New Democrat Coalition, and the Problem Solvers Caucus.

These memberships showcased his commitment to a diverse range of issues and his willingness to collaborate across party lines.

A Presidential Ambition

The year 2023 brought a surprising turn in Dean Phillips’ political career. In July, he publicly announced his consideration of challenging incumbent President Joe Biden in the 2024 Democratic presidential primaries.

This audacious move set the stage for a potential bid for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the upcoming presidential election.

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Throughout the year, Dean Phillips delivered a notable announcement in October 2023. He publicly declared his decision to resign from his position as co-chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, citing divergent viewpoints on the 2024 presidential race in comparison to the prevailing stance within his caucus.

The political world waited with bated breath for his official announcement, scheduled for October 27 in Concord, New Hampshire, where he submitted the necessary paperwork to the Federal Election Commission on October 26, officially marking the beginning of his campaign journey.

Dean Phillips’s Personal Life 

Dean Phillips is a family-oriented individual, and he is married. He also has two daughters from a previous marriage, emphasizing the importance of his role as a parent in his life.

In matters of faith, Dean Phillips follows the Jewish tradition, a significant aspect of his identity. His dedication to his faith and community is evident through his service on the board of Temple Israel in Minneapolis.

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This commitment was acknowledged and appreciated by The American Jewish World, a prominent publication in Minnesota.

Furthermore, Dean Phillips’ family history is intertwined with a legacy of wisdom and advice. His paternal step-grandmother, Pauline Phillips, was a well-known author who wrote the renowned advice column “Dear Abby” under the name Abigail Van Buren.

This familial connection to a beloved advice columnist adds a unique dimension to his background.

Googlers want to know about Dean Phillips.

Who is Dean Phillips in Minnesota?

As a member of the Democratic Party, Phillips has not only initiated and managed multiple enterprises but also assumed the role of President and CEO of his family’s liquor enterprise, the Phillips Distilling Company.

He was previously a co-owner of Talenti Gelato and shares ownership of Penny’s Coffee. He hails from Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.

Who is Senator Phillips from Minnesota?

Dean Phillips is a father, businessman, civic leader, eternal optimist, and Representative for Minnesota’s Third Congressional District in Congress.

Who are the eight representatives of Minnesota?

  • 1st district: Brad Finstad (R) (since 2022)
  • 2nd district: Angie Craig (D) (since 2019)
  • 3rd district: Dean Phillips (D) (since 2019)
  • 4th district: Betty McCollum (D) (since 2001)
  • 5th district: Ilhan Omar (D) (since 2019)
  • 6th district: Tom Emmer (R) (since 2015)

Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district

Area: 468 sq mi (1,210 km2)
Distribution: 95.57% urban, 4.43% rural
Population: (2022) 700,754
Median household income: $100,867

What is Edina known for?

This is a first-ring suburb renowned for its vibrant shopping and dining options, expansive parks and recreational amenities, and the exceptional quality of life it offers its residents.


  1. Wikipedia – Dean Phillips: Link
  2. Jewish Virtual Library – Dean Phillips: Link
  3. Harlem World Magazine – Pride Month: Link
  4. Politico – “55 Things to Know About Dean Phillips”: Link
  5. The Guardian – “Democratic Congressman Dean Phillips Launches Primary Challenge Against Biden”: Link
  6. The Washington Post – “Who Is Dean Phillips?”: Link
  7. CNN – “Dean Phillips Launches Presidential Campaign”: Link
  8. The New York Times – “Dean Phillips Launches Presidential Campaign, Challenging Biden in Primary”: Link
  9. Dean Phillips for Congress: Link
  10. Dean Phillips for Congress Official Website: Link
  11. NBC News – “Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips Launches White House Bid, Challenging Biden”: Link
  12. CNN – “Dean Phillips Launches Presidential Campaign”: Link
  13. The Washington Post – “Who Is Dean Phillips?”: Link