Tennessee community organizer to primary Dem Rep. Jim Cooper

Odessa Kelly / Jim Cooper
Posted at 12:29 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 13:29:33-04

Tennessee community organizer Odessa Kelly has announced that she will challenge U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper in the 2022 Democratic primary.

Kelly is backed by Justice Democrats, a progressive group that helped launch Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign in 2018. Kelly is the co-founder and executive director of Stand Up Nashville, a coalition made up of community organizers and labor unions.

If she won, Kelly would become the first openly gay, Black woman in Congress.

Cooper, a white lawmaker with a reputation as a moderate Democrat, has held his Nashville-area House seat since 2003. Before that, he spent time serving in the House from 1983 to 1995.