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Republican Kendall Qualls to challenge Rep. Dean Phillips in 2020

Qualls, a businessman and Army veteran, filed to run against Phillips Tuesday.

Minnesota Republican and former U.S. Army Captain Kendall Qualls has filed to run against Rep. Dean Phillips in the upcoming election.

Qualls, currently a chief commercial officer at a medical tech startup, filed with the Federal Elections Commission for the Third Congressional District seat Tuesday. He is also graduated from the University of Michigan’s business school with a Master of Business Administration, according to his LinkedIn.

Hailing from Medina, Qualls is entering one of the most competitive districts in the state. The district covers many of Minneapolis’ western and northern suburbs, which includes parts of Hennepin, Carver and Anoka counties.

In 2018, Phillips won the district with 55 percent of the vote, or around 41,000 votes, ousting Republican Erik Paulsen.

While Qualls hasn't made a public statement as of yet, Phillips' campaign manager welcomed him to the race, and challenged him to engage on the topics that Phillips feels is important to the district.

"We welcome Mr. Qualls to Minnesota and to the race for Congress in Minnesota’s Third District,” said Carlbom.

"Everyone’s invited to this conversation and we look forward to each candidate sharing their views on addressing the cost of prescription drugs, fixing and improving healthcare for our families, preventing gun violence in our communities, confronting the climate crisis and their plan to address the ethics and character of the current administration."

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Minnesota GOP chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said: "Deciding to run for office to serve your community and fellow Minnesotans is admirable and the Republican Party of Minnesota applauds anyone who takes that step. We support our grassroots endorsement process and look forward to endorsing a candidate to defeat Congressman Dean Phillips in 2020.

"Congressman Dean Phillips has joined his far-left colleagues, led by Minnesota's own Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, in failing to fix the crisis at the border or ratify the USMCA, instead, focusing on being a roadblock to President Trump. Republican activists in the Third Congressional District are fired up and ready to hit the doors to defeat Phillips after his first failed term in Congress."

Minnesota DFL chairman Ken Martin had this to say: "Minnesotans deserve to know whether Kendall Qualls will meaningfully stand up to Trump’s dangerous rhetoric and destructive policies, or if he’ll serve as just another Republican rubber stamp for Donald Trump."

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