Justice Democrats Back First 2022 House Primary Challenger

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The progressive group Justice Democrats has made its first endorsement of the 2022 election cycle, backing Odessa Kelly, a community activist from East Nashville, Tennessee, in her bid to unseat Representative Jim Cooper.

Kelly, the director of Stand Up Nashville, is challenging Cooper, a prominent Blue Dog Democrat with deep political ties to the state and the city who is currently serving his 16th term in the House.

“We need more pathways out of poverty, and the status quo is no longer good enough. I know how to build coalitions that get results, and I’m running for Congress so that we can make bold, ambitious change at the national level,” Kelly said in a statement from the group.

Justice Democrats is the organization that backed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s winning bid to unseat 10-term incumbent Representative Joseph Crowley in a 2016 primary. The group also recruited Representatives Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman.

Cooper chairs the Armed Services subcommittee on Strategic Forces, which oversees the nation’s nuclear installations and satellites. He also is a member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Budget Committee.

There was no immediate response from Cooper’s office.

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