Oct 19, 2021 - Politics

Scoop: Challenger enters Nashville's DA race

headshot of woman standing in front of capital

Danielle Nellis. Photo provided by Danielle Nellis campaign.

Danielle Nellis, who clerked for a Nashville judge and previously worked as a prosecutor, plans to challenge District Attorney Glenn Funk in the Democratic primary next year.

Why it matters: Nellis is the first opponent for Funk, who was elected in 2014.

  • A Nashville native, Nellis attended Spelman College and earned her law degree from Boston University.
  • At the DA's office, she handled domestic violence cases as well as prosecutions ranging from misdemeanors to major felonies.

What they're saying: Nellis said her time in the DA's office taught her "how crime impacts victims and families involved on all sides, as well as how the community at large is impacted."

  • She's running because "despite the efforts of many skilled and well-intentioned people in Nashville, we are dealing with an increase in crime and violence. And, we want to make sure our city is safe and that we do something to address the increase in crime that disproportionately affects our most vulnerable,” Nellis told Axios.
  • Nellis, 38, was a clerk for Judge Angela Blackshear Dalton for two years before recently joining the firm of Klein Solomon Mills.

Go deeper: Nellis rose through the ranks as a prosecutor before resigning in 2018 when a WSMV investigation found she applied for the job of a man she was prosecuting.

  • Funk alerted the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility about the issue, and its investigation found no ethical issues with her actions, according to WSMV. Nellis told Axios she believes the circumstances surrounding her departure will be a "non-issue" in the campaign.

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