Democracy for America endorses Keeda Haynes for Congress in TN-5

Today, Democracy for America (DFA) announced its endorsement of Keeda Haynes in her Democratic primary fight against Rep. Jim Cooper, a corporate Democrat running for his 16th non-consecutive term in Congress in Tennessee’s 5th, a congressional district so blue it hasn’t elected a Republican since 1875.

A former Assistant Public Defender in the Metro Nashville Public Defender’s office, Keeda Haynes is passionate about her fight to fix our broken criminal justice system because she has personally experienced its failures. Just a few weeks after receiving her degree in criminal justice from Tennessee State University and becoming the first in her family to graduate from college, her parents dropped her off to serve seven years in a federal prison camp for a crime she did not commit. 

Now the legal advisor for a non-profit founded by other formerly incarcerated women, Haynes is running for Congress as a fighter against injustice in all forms -- economic, racial, environmental, gender, healthcare -- that prevent so many in Tennessee’s 5th District from reaching their full potential.

Statement from DFA CEO Yvette Simpson on the grassroots progressive group’s endorsement of Haynes:

“Democracy for America is endorsing Keeda Haynes for Congress because it is time that Tennessee’s most reliably Democratic district is represented by someone who is committed to fighting for a bold progressive agenda rather than doing corporate interests bidding with “D” next to his name.

“We’re particularly excited to support Keeda Haynes because the struggles facing working families in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District aren’t abstract public policy problems to her, they’re a reality she’s lived.

“Keeda Haynes is a passionate advocate for criminal justice reform because she’s experienced our broken system as both a public defender and as someone who was sentenced to seven in federal prison for a crime she did not commit. She understands her district’s housing affordability crisis because she’s struggled to find housing in her own neighborhood when prices continued to skyrocket. She supports Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, because she knows that light-touch responses to crises like COVID-19 and catastrophic climate change won’t cut it.

“Keeda Haynes gives Democrats in Tennesse’s 5th District the chance to replace the wildly out-of-step, Republican-lite Democrat who currently represents them, with a bold, visionary leader who is committed to their progressive values and will bring a range of life experience that is desperately needed in the halls of Congress. We’re honored to stand with Keeda Haynes in this primary and we look forward to fighting alongside her all the way through November.” -- Yvette Simpson, CEO, Democracy for America

Statement from Keeda Haynes on receiving DFA’s 2020 endorsement:<br>

"This pandemic has exposed the very real, structural inequality in our system. Business as usual just won’t cut it anymore. As your Congresswoman, you can count on me to support health care for all, a criminal justice system that works for everyone, and housing as a fundamental, basic right.”-- Keeda Haynes, Candidate, Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District

DFA has 3,727 members in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, 18,883 in the state of Tennessee, and more than one million members nationwide.

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