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Talking Points: Dean Phillips Using Fish House To Challenge Erik Paulsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- With four of Minnesota's eight Congressional races expected to be competitive in November, candidates are trying new ways to reach out to voters.

One DFL candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, Dean Phillips, built a fish house on Lake Minnetonka where he can fish and meet talk to potential constituents.

Phillips is running for the DFL nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen.

Congressman Erik Paulsen has had an easy time winning re-election in the 3rd congressional district, which includes the western suburbs of Minneapolis.

In 2016, he soundly defeated popular DFL State Senator Terri Bonoff by13 percentage points. But Hillary Clinton won the 3rd District by 10 points over Donald Trump, and Paulsen has increasingly been the target of protests for what critics say is his failure to hold in-person town hall meetings.

Dean Phillips, a businessman and philanthropist who is an heir to the Phillips liquor fortune, has underscored that criticism by setting up a meeting place for voters in a Lake Minnetonka Fish House.

Phillips was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

"There is a lot less that divides us Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians. And I am on a mission to remind people to how we can do things, how we used to do things and that is what this is all about. We are making headway," Phillips said.

Congressman Paulsen leads Phillips in fundraising and also has nearly three times as much cash on hand as Phillips. But the matchup is already drawing national attention. Earlier this month, the often-quoted Cook Political Report changed its rating of the race from leaning Republican to a toss-up.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and MIke Augustyniak every Sunday at 6am and 10:30am.

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