Voter guide: See 3rd District candidates' stances on abortion, crime, more

Two mean in blue shirts pose for photos
Dean Phillips, left, and Tom Weiler.
Courtesy photos

Minnesota has eight congressional districts, each represented by a member of the United States House of Representatives. All eight seats are up for election this fall. 

In the 3rd Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, a Democrat who was first elected in 2018 and again in 2020, is facing Tom Weiler, a Republican newcomer and U.S. Navy veteran. The district covers much of the metro suburbs west of Minneapolis including parts of Anoka, Carver and Hennepin counties. 

Here’s where each candidate stands on some of the issues most important to Minnesotans.

Abortion

Phillips: He supports abortion rights, and after the U.S. House passed two bills protecting abortion access in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, he said “Abortion is health care, and I will protect women’s right to choose it using every tool our Founders afforded us.”

Weiler: He is against abortion. “I will defend life and support laws that limit abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, and life of the woman,” he said on his website. However, he has said "in Minnesota's Third District, absolutely nothing has changed with abortion” and declined to talk about a timeline of abortion bans after a certain number of weeks, according to the Star Tribune

Crime, police and public safety

Phillips: He has said public safety can be enhanced by providing funding for police departments and other first responders. He is in favor of mental health services for community members and responders as a public safety initiative. Recently, he introduced a bill, Pathways to Policing Act, and is asking the House for a vote. “I ride along with police officers, meet with our communities, and seek ideas and solutions. And today I helped lead the effort to pass four bills to support law enforcement, reduce crime, and improve public safety all around the country. Justice and security for all,” he said on Twitter. 

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Weiler: He has said crime is “sweeping” the 3rd Congressional District and supports law enforcement. He says he will “never vote to eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement.” He told the Star Tribune he supports “law enforcement at every school.”

Economy and tax policy

Phillips: “Addressing this crisis won’t be easy — especially now — but I believe through fair tax policies, responsible budgeting, and a focus on economic growth, we can at least get on the right path,” he said on his website.

Weiler: He said on his website, I will work to stop the irresponsible spending of President Biden and Congressman Phillips. Minnesotans of the 3rd District need a check on President Biden’s and the far-left irresponsible spending. Congressman Phillips is a rubber stamp, I will be the check, bringing back balance to our government.” In an interview with WCCO, he was critical of the Inflation Reduction Act, a roughly $700 billion package the Biden administration passed to lower energy and health care costs.

Education 

Phillips: “Dean supports teacher-preparation programs and other efforts to help recruit more candidates from under-represented communities into the profession,” his website said.

Weiler: On his website, he said “Curriculums that focus on teaching all subjects at all times through a prism of race and division do not serve our children well. Rather, they seed further division. History, Reading, Math, English, Science and other core subjects must be the focus of our educational system.” In an opinion piece for the Star Tribune, Weiler said he is primarily running for office to fight “woke-influenced education.”

Environment and climate change

Phillips: He plans to lower energy costs and speed the transition to a clean energy economy while cutting emissions by 40 percent by 2030, according to his website.

Weiler: On Twitter he said “@POTUS made the right move to cut off Russian oil to the U.S. Now let's regain American energy independence.” He told the Star Tribune, “Natural resources must be protected. I support pragmatic technologies (nuclear, natural gas, wind, solar) ensuring energy independence and environmental preservation.”

Guns

Phillips: He has voted in favor of a bill requiring background checks in all gun sales, and helped pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which “establishes an enhanced background check process for gun buyers under age 21, provides federal funding to implement state Red Flag laws, disarms domestic abusers by addressing the dating partner loophole, and funds community violence intervention programs, among other items,” according to Everytown.

Weiler: “I will stand strong in support of the Second Amendment,” he said at a GOP convention. He told the Star Tribune, “I support universal background checks, common-sense gun control measures, removing illegal guns from the streets, providing more mental health resources.”

Health care

Phillips: “Rather than dismantle and repeal the Affordable Care Act Dean supports bipartisan proposals to stabilize insurance markets established by the ACA and bring more competition to areas lacking insurance options,” his website said.

Weiler: MPR News could not find recent public comment on the issue.

Immigration 

Phillips: “The America I know and love is a compassionate America that values and welcomes hard-working people who come here with big dreams and a simple wish for safety and opportunity. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is a human issue — and an economic issue — and we must do better,” his website said.

Weiler: “Our Border is not secure and it is not safe. Securing our Southern Border is step 1 of real immigration reform,” he said on Twitter.

The 2020 Election

Phillips: He joined the U.S. House Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group that endorsed legislation to create a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Weiler: MPR News could not find recent public comment on the issue.

Map of Minnesota US house district 3
Minnesota US House District 3
Elisabeth Gawthrop | APM Research Lab

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Additional Resources

  • Election 2022: View more voter guides and resources.

  • Populist: Research incumbents, learn about incumbent records, and see what's on your ballot.

  • APM Research Lab: See the latest polls and learn about who is contributing to the campaigns.