Odessa Kelly works on the porch of her East Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)
Odessa Kelly, Democratic candidate for Tennessee’s 7th congressional district, rolled out a round of endorsements Monday morning that includes four countywide elected officials from Nashville.
“I am so proud of Odessa for never backing down from a fight when our people need results the most,” said Zulfat Suara, Metro Nashville council member-at-large in her endorsement statement.
Also endorsing Kelly are Metro Nashville and Davidson County Trustee Erica Gilmore, Davidson County Juvenile Court Clerk Lonnell Matthews, and Metro Councilmember-at-large Bob Mendes.
Kelly called the group of elected supporters “some of the strongest leaders in Davidson County.”
A Nashville native who grew up in a predominantly Black community and graduated from Tennessee State University, Kelly worked for the Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation Department before founding Stand Up Nashville, a community organization that advocates for social and racial justice.
In April 2021, Kelly announced she would run against U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper in Nashville’s 5th District, but following the announcement of new congressional district lines that cut the current 5th District into three parts, opted to run in District 7.
District 7 is represented by two-term Republican Mark Green. Kelly announced her campaign against him in a video earlier in March.
“Our grassroots campaign to accurately represent the needs of everyday people and defeat greedy millionaire Mark Green is off to a strong start, and we’re building a big tent effort to change the game,” Kelly recently said in a statement.
The primary is Aug. 4 and the general election is Nov. 8.
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