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Out Black lesbian Odessa Kelly will challenge moderate congressman in 2022’s must-watch primary

Out Congressional candidate and organizer Odessa Kelly. Photo: Odessa Kelly for Congress Odessa Kelly officially announced her intent to run for Congress in 2022. If elected, she would be the first out Black woman elected, the second Black lesbian to serve in the House, and only the sixth out woman to serve in Congress.

Even more, she’s attracting a lot of attention from powerful supporters, including the progressive group that helped Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) win an upset victory against a moderate Democrat incumbent. Kelly will face off against Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) for his seat representing Tennessee’s fifth district.

Related: House Democrats seek to adopt resolution honoring & uplifting Black queer leaders

Cooper, 66, has won nine consecutive elections, winning his seat in 2002. He previously represented Tennessee’s fourth congressional district from 1983 to 1995. The 2023-2025 term would be his 15th.

He is a pro-LGBTQ representative , having supported marriage equality for years. He is a current co-sponsor of the Equality Act and he sent letters challenging the Trump administration’s ban on trans people in the military, and the Health and Human Services Department’s anti-LGBTQ policies. He voted for the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act and voted to repeal […]

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