Dean Phillips Goes Silent on Pelosi Vote After Calling for ‘New Leadership’

Rep.-elect Dean Phillips (D-MN-03) called for “new leadership” in the Democratic Party while on the campaign trail, but has gone silent after his party elected Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) as their nominee for House Speaker.

Pelosi squelched any opposition from freshmen Democrats, who didn’t do much more than send a letter to their colleagues calling for “new leadership in our Caucus.” Phillips didn’t even sign his name to the letter.

When it came time for Wednesday’s Democratic Caucus vote, Pelosi was running unopposed and won the nomination with 203 yes votes, 32 no votes, and 3 blanks, Roll Call reports.

She’ll still need 218 votes in the Jan. 3 full House speaker vote, and it is yet unclear where exactly Phillips will fall. The freshmen Democrat from Minnesota declined to answer when asked by CNN how he voted during the closed-door caucus meeting.

Phillips ran on a campaign of transparency, vowing to host frequent town halls for his constituents and comparing his opponent to Bigfoot because of his inaccessibility.

On Friday, Phillips appeared alongside Pelosi and several other prominent Democrats as they introduced their first bill planned for the new session, which, in Phillips’ words, will tackle “the culture of corruption in Congress.”

“Proud to stand with House Democrats today to unveil our first priority in the 116th Congress: H.R. 1—a bold plan initiated by Rep. Sarbanes to clean up the culture of corruption in Washington, initiate campaign finance reform and return to a government of, by and for the people,” Phillips tweeted Friday.

His colleague, Rep.-elect Angie Craig (D-MN-02) also hinted at wanting new leadership, saying in an interview after her election that she’d like to see more members from the Midwest move into leadership roles. But The Hill reported Wednesday that Craig was among several Democrats who spoke during the caucus vote to express support for Pelosi.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to anthony.gockowski@gmail.com.
Photo “Dean Phillips” by Dean Phillips

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