Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips' resistance to President Joe Biden's 2024 re-election run has already led to the Minnesotan leaving a party leadership role in the House.

Now the prospect of Phillips potentially running in the Democratic presidential primary this cycle, and whether he'll end up on the ballot next year seeking a fourth term in Congress, is stirring interest in his Third Congressional District seat in Minnesota.

Ron Harris, a Democratic National Committee member in Minnesota and chair of the Midwestern caucus, announced Friday that he's running for the suburban congressional seat. He first made his interest in the race clear to the Capitol Hill outlet Punchbowl News this month.

"I consider myself pragmatic," Harris told the Star Tribune in a recent interview. "I consider myself someone who is pushing for progress."

But the former chief resilience officer for the city of Minneapolis was evasive when asked if he lives in Phillips' congressional district. Harris said he grew up in the district but conceded that he does not live there.

"I'm not sure voters care that I currently live a mile outside the district," Harris said. "I think they care that I hear them, that this is the place that I grew up, these are the people that I know."

A Phillips presidential run wouldn't necessarily keep him from trying for another term in Congress if his national bid fails. The state filing deadline for Minnesota congressional seats is in early June 2024, at which point the Democratic primary race for president will likely be essentially decided. Even as he's considered a presidential run, Phillips noted last month plans to run for a fourth congressional term.

The Third District has shifted in recent cycles from a Republican seat to now reliably blue. Only one Republican had filed with the Federal Election Commission as of Friday to run for the seat in 2024.

Phillips ousted the incumbent, Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, in the 2018 midterms and has since established himself in Congress as a thoughtful moderate who's able and willing to criticize Democrats and Republicans while also working across the aisle.

"I don't fear primaries; I actually encourage them," Phillips said. "I think democracy thrives when more people participate, both in the primary season and the general election season."

If Phillips skips running for Congress in 2024, Harris wouldn't likely clear the primary field for the seat.

"I have been having positive conversations with people throughout the Third District and am considering running for Congress if Representative Phillips doesn't run for re-election, but any decision right now is premature," DFL state Sen. Kelly Morrison, who lives in the congressional district, said in a statement. "Representative Phillips has always served the Third District well and would continue to do so if he decides to run again."

DFL Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon also lives in the Third District. He said he's "totally focused" on his current position.

"If there were to be an actual vacancy, I wouldn't rule anything out," Simon said. "I would certainly make any decision, or even consideration, at that time, but that's not this time. That's not what's happening right now."

More interest became clear on Friday when Minnesota DFL state Rep. Zack Stephenson, who lives in the district, said he is "also strongly considering running for the Third Congressional District in the event that Dean Phillips runs for president."

Phillips is adamant he will support Biden if the incumbent once again becomes the Democratic nominee for next year's general election. He has shared his worry, however, that Democrats are "sleepwalking" into a repeat of 2016 when they lost the White House in a stunning upset, and he has urged Biden to "pass the torch." Phillips has publicly encouraged established Democrats to run while not ruling out the possibility of launching a presidential primary campaign himself.

Harris supports Biden's re-election run and said the president is "best positioned to beat [Donald] Trump again, especially as voters start to hear more about the legislation that's been passed and the ways that it's positively improving people's lives."

Phillips has blown past a September timeframe he set to decide whether he'll take on the longshot challenge of running against Biden in a primary.

"A decision has to be made in the next few weeks," he said. "Filing deadlines are forthcoming."