Democratic Congressman-elect Dean Phillips is in Washington this week with the four other new members of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation.
And after earning a hard-fought victory in a long-time Republican district that hasn’t been represented by a Democrat in nearly 60 years, he said he’s already working to forge bipartisan relationships.
On Wednesday, “Picture Day” for the nearly 100 newly-elected members of Congress, he was even walking with newly-elected Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, perhaps the most pro-Trump Republican in the delegation.
“The collegiality among the Democrats and Republicans newly-elected is really inspiring and I’m hopeful and optimistic,” Phillips said. “I have a lot to learn. A lot to listen to and a lot to navigate.”
Phillips said he’ll also work within his own party to chose either Nancy Pelosi or someone else as House Speaker.
“That’s my responsibility,” he said. “As I’ve said from the get-go, I believe it’s time for new leadership on both sides of the aisle. I hope to seek that and I’m pragmatic.”
He said he’s excited to work with new Democratic colleagues like Angie Craig, the first openly-gay member of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation, and Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American in Congress.