WASHINGTON (CNN) – A political organization headed by two prominent liberal bloggers is actively recruiting a candidate to challenge centrist Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee in the 2010 primary.
Accountability Now, a political action committee, accuses Cooper of being out of step with voters of his Nashville-based district. The PAC specifically criticized Cooper for his reluctance to embrace President Obama's health care reform plan, and said that it is time to replace him with "a Democrat in Congress accountable to our district!"
A PAC representative has been in Cooper's district interviewing potential candidates for the past week, co-founder Jane Hamsher told CNN in an interview. Hamsher is a prominent liberal activist who founded the progressive blog Firedoglake. Unlike her blog, Hamsher said that Accountability Now does not emphasize liberal politics, but rather its mission is to defeat incumbent congressmen who the PAC believes has sold out to big business.
"Our goal is to get the corporatists out of there," Hamsher said.
Cooper is the PAC's first target. Hamsher said the organization is in talks with Libertarian-minded Republicans about possible primary challenges, but nothing has been set in stone.
CNN called Cooper's office for comment and is waiting for a response.
Hamsher said there is plenty of interest from possible challengers, but would not disclose the names of any potential candidates. If a person is found, then the PAC will promote the candidacy, raise money, and help push back against the national Democratic Party, which is backing Cooper's reelection. Still, Hamsher said the challenger needs to show viability.
"Someone has to decide they want to run and they have to run their own race," she said. "We can't run the race for them. They need to show they can run their own campaign. We can then help them."
It is unclear who the PAC will target next. But Hamsher said that they plan to continue polling in search of vulnerable incumbents who they think have sold out to corporate America.
Follow Mark Preston on Twitter: @prestoncnn