Dean Phillips unseats Paulsen in U.S. House 3rd District race

Democrat challenger Dean Phillips unseated Republican Erik Paulsen to win the U.S. House 3rd District. It's the first time a Democrat has won the seat since 1961.

Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement:

“Dean Phillips represents a new kind of politics - one in which our leaders work to unite rather than divide us, choose hope over fear, and appeal to our common humanity instead of our worst partisan instincts. There’s a lot of work to be done to repair our government, and I know Dean will fight tirelessly to get Washington working again for Minnesota families. Congratulations to Dean Phillips on his victory in Minnesota’s Third Congressional District.”

LAST ELECTION: Paulsen beat Terri Bonoff in 2016 in a race that was expected to be much closer. Paulsen won 57 percent to 43 percent, but it was still his lowest percentage win in three House races. 

Republican Candidate: Rep. Erik Paulsen (Incumbent). Member of the U.S. House of Representative representing Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District. Paulsen was first elected to the House in 2008. Paulsen’s first win in 2008 came with an 8 percent margin of victory. Since then, he has won all his race by double-digits. Previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1995 to 2009. Paulsen was an intern for Senator Rudy Boschwitz from 1989 until Boschwitz was beaten Paul Wellstone in 1990.

DFL Candidate: Dean Phillips. Phillips' challenge to Paulsen will make this one of the most expensive races in the state. Democrats are trying to win control of the House by flipping 24 GOP seats, and Paulsen is one of their targets. Phillips is a wealthy businessman who has never run for office before. Heir to a liquor fortune, great-great grandfather built Phillips Distilling Co in 1912. Started and sold Talenti gelato. Phillips up by 5 percent and 9 percent in the two polls that are out on this race