Suburban businessman launches DFL bid against Paulsen

May 16, 2017 GMT

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A local businessman is launching a campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen.

Dean Phillips announced his Democratic bid in the 3rd Congressional District Tuesday after several weeks of speculation.

Paulsen easily survived an anti-Donald Trump-fueled challenge in November. But national Democrats have signaled they’ll target the fifth-term Republican in 2018, hoping for voter backlash against the president and his party.

But Phillips says his campaign won’t be simply about the president. Instead he’ll lean on his business experience and criticize the voting record of Paulsen, who Phillips calls a career politican.

Phillips previously led his family company, Phillips Distilling Co., before building the premium gelato brand Talenti. He now owns a downtown Minneapolis coffee shop.