DeAngelo Jelks

Chattanooga police are investigating a rape allegation made by a woman working on state House candidate DeAngelo Jelks’ special election campaign, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Jelks, the Democratic nominee, is running in Tuesday’s special election to fill the seat of the late Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah), who died earlier this year.

According to the newspaper, the alleged victim filed a report with the Chattanooga Police Department on Sunday, the same day Jelks resigned as vice chair of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. He declined to comment to the Times Free Press.

Chattanooga City Councilmember Demetrus Coonrod was working on behalf of the alleged victim, who contacted the councilmember last week, according to the newspaper.

"This is a serious allegation. And we're not going to play around with it, you know, and we shouldn't make women feel like that they can't come forward with information and we shouldn't be prejudging the intentions behind it," Coonrod told the TFP. "And we shouldn't just assume he's guilty either, but we have to take it seriously and we have to investigate it, regardless of someone's party or color or whatever."

Jelks faces Republican Greg Vital in the Tuesday special election.

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