|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Minnesota's 3rd district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Erik Paulsen|
Dean Benson Pfefer
January 20, 1969
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
(m. 1995; div. 2015)
|Education||Brown University (AB)|
University of Minnesota (MBA)
Dean Benson Phillips (born January 20, 1969) is an American businessman and politician from Minnesota. A member of the Democratic Party, he has represented Minnesota's 3rd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2019. The district includes most of the western suburbs of the Twin Cities, such as Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Plymouth, and Wayzata.
Phillips was born to DeeDee (Cohen) and Artie Pfefer in 1969. Artie was killed in the Vietnam War when Dean was six months old. DeeDee later married Eddie Phillips, heir to the Phillips Distilling Company and son of advice columnist Pauline Phillips.
Phillips attended The Blake School. He graduated from Brown University in 1991, and is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He worked for bicycle equipment and apparel company InMotion for two years, and then joined the family company. He completed his Master of Business Administration at the University of Minnesota in 2000, and was named president of Phillips Distilling. He lives in Deephaven, west of Minneapolis.
In 2018, Phillips ran for the United States House of Representatives in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district as a Democrat. In the Democratic primary, he defeated former sales associate Cole Young with 81.6% of the vote. Phillips won all three counties in the district.
In the general election, Phillips defeated incumbent Republican Erik Paulsen with 55.6% of the vote. When he took office in 2019, he became the first Democrat to hold this seat since 1961.
Phillips ran for reelection in 2020. He defeated Cole Young in the Democratic primary with 90.7% of the vote and faced off against the Republican nominee, businessman Kendall Qualls. Phillips defeated Qualls with 55.6% of the vote.
Phillips maintains a bipartisan record. According to the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, Phillips held a Bipartisan Index Score of 1.1 in the 116th United States Congress for 2019, which placed him 27th out of 435 members. Based on FiveThirtyEight's congressional vote tracker at ABC News, Phillips voted with President Donald Trump's stated public policy positions 5.5% of the time, which ranked him average in the 116th Congress when predictive scoring (district partisanship and voting record) is used.
|Democratic (DFL)||Dean Phillips||56,697||81.6|
|Democratic (DFL)||Cole Young||12,784||18.4|
|Democratic (DFL)||Dean Phillips||202,402||55.6|
|Republican||Erik Paulsen (incumbent)||160,839||44.2|
|Democratic (DFL) gain from Republican|
|Democratic (DFL)||Dean Phillips (incumbent)||73,011||90.7|
|Democratic (DFL)||Cole Young||7,443||9.3|
|Democratic (DFL)||Dean Phillips (incumbent)||246,666||55.6|
Phillips is married and has two daughters from a previous marriage. He is Jewish and was acknowledged by the Minnesota publication The American Jewish World for serving on the board of Temple Israel in Minneapolis.
Phillips's paternal grandmother Pauline Phillips was the author of the advice column "Dear Abby" under the pen name Abigail Van Buren.