Nashville public defender Keeda Haynes — who also served time in federal prison — will challenge U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) for his seat in Congress.
Haynes set up her campaign Facebook page earlier this month.
“Haynes has been planning to run for months and was among the candidates considered by Justice Democrats, the national progressive group that helps Democrats challenge incumbents the group deems too moderate. She filed campaign paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Sunday,” according to The Nashville Scene.
“Haynes left the public defender’s office, where she had worked since 2013, in December and is now a legal adviser for Free Hearts, a nonprofit organization that provides support to families affected by incarceration.”
Justice Democrats had approached local activist Gicola Lane and Odessa Kelly to run for Cooper’s seat, but both women declined, The Nashville Scene went on to report.
As The Tennessee Star reported in November, left-wing activist Justin Jones also wants to challenge Cooper for his seat in this year’s primary election.
Jones has gained a prominent following after organizing many protests at Tennessee’s capitol harassing politicians. As the Tennessee Star reported, the Vanderbilt divinity student allegedly assaulted former Speaker of the House Glen Casada last year by throwing a cup of liquid at him.
In the past, Jones was arrested at a 2018 Marsha Blackburn rally for criminal trespassing and resisting arrest.
When asked about Jones’ candidacy, Cooper told the Nashville-based WPLN that he “welcomes competition.”
“I like Justin and I welcome the competition from him or anyone,” Cooper said in a statement.
Tennessee far-left groups have wanted a primary challenger against Cooper because they believe he is not progressive enough, according to the Nashville Scene.
Cooper has represented Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District since 2003.
As reported in November, Cooper recently went from opposing the Green New Deal to supporting it.
As The Tennessee Star reported in February, New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released the resolution that’s become a central part of the Democratic agenda, including backing from 2020 candidates.
The “Green New Deal” resolution calls for “10-year national mobilizations” towards a series of goals aimed at fighting global warming, according to a copy of the bill obtained by NPR. A separate fact-sheet claims the plan would “mobilize every aspect of American society on a scale not seen since World War 2.”
That includes getting all our energy needs from “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” by “dramatically expanding and upgrading existing renewable power sources.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s non-binding resolution calls for a variety of social justice and welfare state goals, including “a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security” and “high-quality health care” benefits for Americans.
The resolution calls for “repairing historic oppression” among certain groups, including minorities, immigrants, women, low-income workers, indigenous people and youth collectively called “frontline and vulnerable communities.”
– – –
Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Keeda Haynes” by Keeda Haynes, and “Rep Jim Cooper” by Rep. Jim Cooper.