A businessman and military veteran from Medina has filed paperwork to challenge freshman DFL Rep. Dean Phillips in the Third Congressional District.
Republican Kendall Qualls declared his intention to seek the suburban House seat in a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday.
Qualls declined to comment when reached by phone by the Star Tribune, saying he is referring all inquiries to his political consultant. The consultant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to Qualls’ LinkedIn profile, the former U.S. Army captain has spent the last three decades working in the health care and medical-technology industries.
His current occupation, according to the profile, is chief commercial officer and executive vice president of an unnamed “healthcare IT disruptive startup company.” He also lists a position as board member of an “innovative IT startup company” based in Lexington, Ky. He served as a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army from 1985 to 1990 and earned an MBA from the University of Michigan, the bio states.
The Third Congressional District was one of the most competitive House races in the country in 2018. Phillips, a wealthy businessman, defeated Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen with 55% of the vote, becoming the first Democrat to represent the seat in nearly 60 years. The National Republican Congressional Committee has named the district one of its top targets to flip in 2020.
In a statement, Phillips’ campaign manager Richard Carlbom said they “welcome Mr. Qualls to Minnesota and to the race for Congress in Minnesota’s Third District.”
“Everyone’s invited to this conversation and we look forward to each candidate sharing their views,” he said.