Odessa Kelly works on the porch of her East Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)
Odessa Kelly, Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District, has picked up two endorsements from national progressive organizations, her campaign announced on Tuesday.
Indivisible, which was founded after former President Donald Trump’s 2016 election and Working Families Party (WFP,) endorsed Kelly. WFP, founded in New York City in 1998, is a progressive grassroots political party which organizes to elect candidates from working class backgrounds.
“As a proud union member, I am so grateful to have the support of the Working Families Party in this race and the fight to defend working people against corporate interests,” said Kelly, a member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU.) “We need working class leadership in Congress that understands the urgency of working class issues and will fight for us instead of corporate interests.”
Formerly a manager with the Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation Department, Kelly now serves as executive director of Stand Up Nashville. She is running in the 2022 Democratic primary for Tennessee’s 5th District against incumbent Rep. Jim Cooper.
Other groups to endorse Kelly include Brand New Congress, SEIU Local 205, Elect Black Women and Justice Democrats. Justice Democrats is the organization that backed current U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, among others. Several members of the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County have also endorsed Kelly.
The redistricting process for congressional seats is underway and it remains to be seen if the 5th District, which is composed of Davidson and Dickson Counties and most of Cheatham County, remains as it is now.
Cooper, who was elected to serve the 5th District in 2002, has asked a Tennessee House redistricting committee to keep the district as is, referring to Nashville as “a living organism.” Talk has continued to circulate that the GOP-led house will divide the district to make it more difficult for any Democrat to win.
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