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Phillips campaign rules out ‘No Labels’ run

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), the long shot challenging President Biden for the White House, will not run as a candidate with No Labels.

Phillips’s leading campaign adviser Jeff Weaver confirmed to The Hill that the congressman and insurgent candidate does not intend to seek a third-party or independent bid with the group, despite the candidate’s apparent flirtation with the idea over the weekend.

Weaver was responding to news first reported by Politico on Monday that Phillips will not challenge both the Democratic and Republican nominees in November by mounting a candidacy with No Labels, the centrist organization attempting to recruit an outside counter to Biden and likely former President Trump.

“Correct,” Weaver said in a text message about Phillips rejecting a No Labels campaign.

On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Phillips, who has set his sights on the Granite State where Biden won’t be listed on the ballot, has reassured voters he will run as a Democrat to provide a fresher choice to Biden in the fall.

He attracted attention after briefly appearing to consider a No Labels ticket if his party primary bid falls flat. In an interview with the Star Tribune, however, he seemed to distance himself from that possibility, which has concerned Democrats fearful that any third-party effort could benefit the GOP.

“It does matter who they put at the top of the ticket, and if it wasn’t someone who would draw votes from Donald Trump, then it would be an unmitigated disaster,” he said when asked about No Labels, whose leaders said they have had conversations with figures from both sides of the aisle in a press briefing last week, but have yet to find a top choice.

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