Progressives Reportedly Want to Unseat Tennessee Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper


Progressives have reportedly targeted several House Democrats for the 2020 primary, including U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper, a Democrat representing Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District.

This, according to the nonprofit, which did not specify who, exactly, progressives have in mind to challenge Cooper.

The progressive challengers, the website went on to say, won’t have an easy time unseating these incumbents.

“Fifteen moderate House Democrats targeted for a 2020 primary by a progressive organization have at least two major advantages over challengers, according to a MapLight analysis,” the website reported.

“They’re likely to benefit from a new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee policy that blacklists consultants and vendors who work for a primary challenger. The policy was implemented by Rep. Cheri Bustos, the DCCC chair and a target of Roots Action, the progressive organization.”

In addition to Cooper, other targets include Jim Costa of California, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Eliot Engel of New York, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Jim Himes of Connecticut, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Derek Kilmer of Washington, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, Gregory Meeks of New York, Brad Schneider of Illinois, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, David Scott of Georgia, and Juan Vargas of California.

According to, Roots Action galvanizes people “committed to economic fairness, equal rights for all, civil liberties, environmental protection — and defunding endless wars.”

“The organization officially launched in 2011 as the Action for a Progressive Future nonprofit, claims to have more than 1.5 million active members,” according to

“Although the elections are more than a year away, several of the incumbents targeted by Roots Action already have picked up primary challengers.”

As The Tennessee Star reported last year, Cooper represents Cheatham, Davidson, and Dickson counties in Congress.

Cooper handily won re-election last year against Republican challenger Jody Ball by a margin of 67.8 percent to 32.2 percent, Ballotpedia said.

Cooper’s voting record is available here.

Last year, Cooper refused to vote in support of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security by casting a “present” ballot rather than “yes” or “no” on a resolution in support of the agency.

Cooper has served in the Fifth District since 2002, but that is not his only Congressional experience. He served in the Fourth District from 1983 to 1995, his biography in the 2017-2018 Tennessee Blue Book said.

– – –

Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]




Related posts

5 Thoughts to “Progressives Reportedly Want to Unseat Tennessee Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper”

  1. Austin

    The Communist radicals are taking over the the Democrat Party. Being just a little Communist is not enough for them. Even Nancy Pelosi is a target. Steve Cohen is safe though!

  2. William R. Delzell

    Jim Cooper back in the 1980’s used to be to the left of Reagan in his opposition to the Reagans’ support for major crack dealers known as the Contras (so-called freedom fighters who were really Crack dealers, baby-rapers, etc) who fueled practically all the crack epidemic that plagued U.S. cities at that time.

    But once he decided to run for the Senate in 1994, he sold out to the Republicans thinking it would woo enough conservative voters without costing him any progressive votes. He found out a little differently when Republican Fred Thompson clobbered him doing better than Bob Corker did against Harold Ford, Jr. did several years later.

    If he continues to act like a Republican, he deserves to lose both the Primary and General Election next year.

  3. Rick

    Democrats and the looney left have become one in the same, until I am proven wrong. They are all nuts. Cooper’s votes say it all about him!

  4. John Bumpus

    Jim Cooper is a very liberal guy despite his ‘spin’ to his constituents to the contrary. I say this based upon his votes in the U.S. House of Representatives. I frequently check the voting records in the U.S. House of Representatives on the issues of the day and Cooper is ‘loony left’ to me. But now the Marxists consider Cooper to be too tame for their tastes. Just goes to show how radical the Dem Party is today when Cooper is not ‘crazy enough’ for them.

    1. Robert

      Excellent point! Hopefully Cooper will be taken out by the far left causing moderate dems not to vote in general election and put the seat in Republican’s hands.