The Democratic nominee for Minnesota’s Third Congressional District, Dean Phillips, has made a strategic move to reach out to the progressive wing of his party. He has tapped two veterans of Bernie Sanders’ and Andrew Yang’s presidential campaigns to be part of his team: Melissa Byrne and Seth Masket.
Melissa Byrne is an experienced political strategist, having served since 2011 on the presidential campaigns of Bernie Sanders, as well as winning election to a state leadership position in Maryland in 2016. Byrne also previously worked on the Obama and Biden campaigns in 2008.
Seth Masket, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver, has been working with Phillips since April 2018. He was an informal adviser on Yang’s campaign and senior policy advisor for Sanders. Both Byrne and Masket volunteered on Phillips’ first campaign, lending their experienced insight to the team.
Phillips was pleased to announce the two advisers. In a statement, he said: “I am so pleased to have Melissa and Seth on my team. In the coming months, I look forward to working with them to build on the success of this campaign.”
The move clearly demonstrates Phillips’ commitment to the progressive movement, and to their ideas and agendas. His campaign already focused on economic inequality and social justice, and the addition of Byrne and Masket suggest that this will be a continued priority.
Phillips is unopposed in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor primary, which is not uncommon in Minnesota. He will face his Republican opponent in November 2020.
By securing the added insight and expertise of Byrne and Masket, Phillips appears to be giving himself an edge over his potential opponents. This move adds ammunitions to his campaign arsenal as he gears up for what might be a tough race in 2020.
It seems as though Phillips is a candidate who understands how important it is to have the right team behind him. With Byrne and Masket in his corner, it seems that the Minnesota Third District will be one to keep an eye on.