2018 Endorsements – State & Local


Charlotte Clark-Frieson

Running for: Alabama State House (District 37)

Charlotte Clark-Frieson is running for the Alabama State House in District 37. She has an ambitious and progressive agenda on the economy, criminal justice, heath care, civil rights, education, and the environment. She says, “I have lived and worked in the State of Alabama all of my life. I have seen many events and occurrences in this state, some that have made me proud, but some that have made me ashamed. I want to be a part of a movement to erase the shame, and renew the pride… There is nothing we can’t do if we form strong coalitions, and work together for the common good of all.” Clark-Frieson is a Christian and an ally of the secular community.

Emily Anne Marcum

Running for: Alabama State House (District 41)

Emily Anne Marcum is running for the Alabama State House in District 41. As a mother of two she is running for public office to ensure that her children, and all the children of Alabama, can obtain a quality education and have good job opportunities as adults. She says, “Lately school systems have been plagued by a long stream of politicians who all think they know what will fix our schools. They implement one top-down solution after another and schedule an in-service day to tell teachers what the new plan is. Instead, we need to find a bottom-up solution by listening to teachers, administrators, parents, and students and finding out what they think will help them.” Marcum was raised a Mormon, and is now an atheist.


Athena Salman

Running for: Arizona State House (District 26)

Athena Salman is running for re-election to Arizona’s State House in the 26th Legislative District. Salman identifies as an atheist and is a native Arizonan. She is recognized as a progressive leader fighting for the full spectrum of human rights and a free society. Her policy priorities focus on fighting for women’s rights, increasing the quality and access of education, empowering working families, protecting our elections from corporate special interests, and strengthening the community with improved infrastructure and clean, renewable energy.

Brianna Westbrook

Running for: Arizona State Senate (District 22)

Brianna Westbrook is running for Arizona’s State Senate in the 22nd Legislative District. Westbrook’s campaign began because she was “sick and tired of sitting on the sidelines hoping for a candidate that will stand up for the issues that matter.” Her progressive agenda includes: rewarding home and business owners that utilize renewable energy, abolishing private prisons, tuition-free community college, campaign finance reform, raising the federal minimum wage and supporting the push for Medicare for All because she believes health care is a human right, not a privilege. She is also active in her community as the co-chair of the local Indivisible chapter. Westbrook is a humanist.


Chris Kennedy

Running for: Colorado State House (District 23)

Chris Kennedy is a first-term Colorado State Representative (House District 23, Jefferson County). Raised without religion in his life, Kennedy identifies as agnostic. After leaving his first career as a structural engineer, he started working on campaigns and at the Colorado State Capitol before running for office himself. While passionate about a wide range of issues from public education to renewable energy to LGBTQ rights, his primary focus has been on health care policy. He has led the charge on legislation to increase transparency of hospital spending and stabilizing the private health insurance market to reduce costs for consumers.


Kelly Damerow

Running for: Brevard County (FL) School Board (District 5)

Kelly Damerow is running for the Brevard County (FL) School Board in District 5. Her goals are to promote high quality education through restoring respect for teachers and support staff, restore educational focus and funding to neighborhood public schools, and provide students with promising futures through vocational and trade school opportunities. Damerow has been active in the secular movement serving in several important roles at the Secular Coalition for America including interim executive director, and as president of the 2016 Reason Rally. She identifies as a humanist.

Ann Fuller

Running for: Florida State House (District 52)

Ann Fuller is running for the Florida State House in District 52. She is running for public office “because individuals, small businesses, and large industry succeed when their community has superior education, access to quality healthcare, and a sustainable environment.” Fuller will “advocate for the democratic values of justice, equity, and compassion in human relations” and provide voters with a choice on the ballot that will “bring reason, integrity, and empathy to decision making in Tallahassee.” Fuller is an ordained community minister with the Unitarian Universalists and a religious humanist.

Phil Moore

Running for: Florida State House (District 53)

Phil Moore is running for the Florida State House in District 53. His campaign is focused on three interrelated issues – maintaining home rule to allow local jurisdictions more control of local issues, the protection of the environment, and infrastructure planning and repair. He says that he was compelled to run for office because he has watched the environment of the Space Coast and its lagoon and rivers degrade over the past several years, and Tallahassee has diverted funding to what cities and counties can do to combat environmental and other issues. Moore was raised a Catholic, and is now an atheist.

Adam Morley

Running for: Florida State House (District 24)

Adam Morley is running for the Florida State House in District 24. Morley’s main policy focus and his passion for entering the race are reforming campaign law, protecting the environment, promoting renewable energy, ratifying the ERA, legalizing marijuana, and keeping taxes low. He has a long standing interest in the environment. As a pre-teen he won an award for a birdhouse made from recycled materials, later he built a successful recycling business, and he and his family live in home he built almost entirely from recycled materials and is energy self-sufficient using solar power. Morley identifies as agnostic.


Mary Rita Luecke

Running for: Illinois State House (District 17)

Mary Rita Luecke is running for the Illinois General Assembly in District 17. Luecke is an educator and attorney with a background in fighting for civil rights protections and is a long-time community leader serving as president of the local PTA and later as a member and president of the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education. Her policy stances are “rooted in science, data-informed analysis and seek the greater good for the greatest number of people.” Luecke is campaigning for a progressive state income tax, limiting terms for legislative leadership positions, ending gerrymandering, legalizing marijuana, and raising the minimum wage to a living wage. She identifies as Jewish and agnostic.

Jennifer McMillin

Running for: Illinois State House (District 101)

Jennifer McMillin is running for the Illinois General Assembly in District 101. McMillin has spent a decade in the education sector to improve academic outcomes for students and families in central Illinois. She is running to make sure that the education system provides every student in every district the skills necessary to be successful. McMillin is also committed to improving access to healthcare, balancing the state budget, and creating new job opportunities. McMillin attends a Unitarian Universalist fellowship and is an ally of the nontheist community.

Anne Sommerkamp

Running for: Illinois State House (District 47)

Anne Sommerkamp is running for the Illinois General Assembly in District 47. Sommerkamp’s varied career as a journalist, stay-at-home mom, and healthcare professional has given her the experience to find solutions to problems by asking the right questions and getting answers. She knows how to implement solutions by preparing both short- and long-term goals; for example, bring more sustainable energy jobs to the Prairie State. Sommerkamp believes access to affordable healthcare is a basic human right. Whether or not the state has a solid balanced budget she will work tirelessly to get help to people in need. She knows ALL people are equal and ALL people matter, that is her truth. When asked about religion, Sommerkamp says “I believe in science.”

Joe Sonnefeldt

Running for: Illinois State Senate (District 27)

Joe Sonnefeldt is running for the Illinois State Senate in District 27. Sonnefeldt is a professional musician and educator. In 2011 he was elected to the Mount Prospect School District 57 Board of Education and currently serves as its president. In addition to fighting for quality, publicly funded education from early childhood through college, Sonnefeldt will advocate for investments in infrastructure, a living wage, a graduated state income tax, and access to quality healthcare. While he strongly supports freedom of religion, Sonnefeldt believes that organized religion that attempts to influence politics is a serious threat to democracy. He is religiously unaffiliated.


Ryan Farrar

Running for: Indiana State Senate (District 6)

Ryan Farrar is running for the Indiana State Senate in District 6. He is a progressive candidate who will fight for livable wages, better funding of public education, unions, civil rights, healthcare for all, and the environment. With regard to the environment, he is very concerned about the damage done by industrial agriculture specifically concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), which pollute the land, air, and water. Farrar was raised Southern Baptist, and is now a humanist.

Carolyn Jackson

Running for: Indiana State House (District 1)

Carolyn Jackson is running for the Indiana State House in District 1. She will work to improve public education, encourage job growth and increase the minimum wage, ensure that our communities are safe, and expand social service programs for seniors, veterans, and youth. She has never been afraid to stand up for what is right and is committed to addressing the needs of her community. Jackson is a Christian and an ally of the secular community.

Kevin Leineweber

Running for: Indiana State House (District 91)

Kevin Leineweber is running for the Indiana State House in District 91. He is committed to strengthening the public schools, improving state infrastructure, protecting the environment, and building bridges – not walls – to welcome immigrants. He is also dedicated to improving civil rights protections. “Indiana ranks 11th in the nation for the number of hate groups, yet it does not have hate crime laws – We must continue to work to make Indiana safe for all individuals.” Leineweber identifies as a humanist.

Curtis Nash

Running for: Indiana State House (District 84)

Curtis Nash is running for the Indiana State House in District 84. He is running on a progressive agenda that includes gun control, getting corporate money out of political campaigns, marijuana legalization, and prison reform. With regard to prison reform he wants to find alternatives to cash bail, which discriminates against the poor and transfers the decision-making about pre-trial detention from the courts to profit-motivated entities, and the incarceration of non-violent drug offenders. He says, “Addiction is a health issue, one that is treatable, it doesn’t seem fair to incarcerate somebody for that.” Nash is spiritual but not religious.

Nichole Thomas

Running for: Indiana State House (District 98)

Nichole Thomas is running for the Indiana State House in District 98. She is a strong advocate for women’s rights and the right to choose, Black Lives Matter, DACA and immigrant equality, LGBTQ rights and basic human rights that she says “are unfortunately tested daily.” She will work to increase the minimum wage, provide health care for all, expand job availability, improve public education, and fight tirelessly for the needs of her district. Thomas was raised Christian and now identifies as agnostic and humanist.


Jarrett Cox

Running for: Kentucky State House (District 21)

Jarrett Cox is running for the Kentucky State House in District 21. He is committed to increasing state funding for education, eliminating forced arbitration that silences abuse and limits individual rights, eliminating right-to-work laws to expand the protections of unions, and increasing the minimum wage. While Cox attends a Southern Baptist church, he is an ally of the secular community. He says, “I believe in a country where people of all beliefs are treated equally. America is not a Christian nation, and it should not be run as one.”


Pinny Beebe-Center

Running for: Maine State House (District 93)

Pinny Beebe-Center is running for re-election to Maine’s State House in the 93rd Legislative District. Beebe-Center is a strong advocate for families and youth working on issues such as child poverty, addiction, mental health, and the environment. Beebe-Center is a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation. She believes that “religion is a personal choice. It should not be imposed on others and clearly should not be the motivation or consideration for policy, regulation or legislation.”


Derek Kent

Running for: Maryland State House (District 32)

Derek Kent is running for the Maryland House of Delegates. This is Derek’s first run for elected office, but as a veteran and progressive activist he has an extensive history in public service and a strong vision for Maryland’s future. He identifies as a humanist.

New Hampshire

Tim Smith

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Hillsborough District 17)

Tim Smith is running for re-election to New Hampshire’s State House in the Hillsborough District 17. Smith is a lifelong atheist. He is also a Major in the Civil Air Patrol and a member of the New Hampshire Democratic State Committee. Smith was first elected in 2012 and is serving in his third term. He promotes policy that will empower everyday people to improve their circumstances such as supporting public education and ensuring a viable social safety net. Smith has introduced legislation to protect rape victims from child custody lawsuits, enhanced penalties for corrupt contractors and corporate criminals, and a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.


Joe Helle

Running for: Ohio State House (District 89)

Joe Helle is running for the Ohio State House in District 89. He is a veteran and Mayor of Oak Harbor, Ohio. He is committed to bringing more jobs to Ohio and increasing the minimum wage, protecting the environment and reproductive rights, and ensuring that everyone has healthcare. As Mayor, he has been a strong supporter of the marginalized communities. For example, he has issued proclamations for LGBTQ Pride Month over the objections of some within his community. He says, “We need to strengthen the bonds of everyone in our community, and we cannot if we continue restricting the rights of some to benefit others.” Helle was raised Methodist, but is not religious now.

Cassimir Svigelj

Running for: Ohio State House (District 16)

Cassimir Svigelj is running for the Ohio State House in District 16. He is a strong advocate for producing “superior performing public schools to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.” He decided to run for public office because the current “elected officials are not properly serving the people of Ohio. The Republican Party currently holds 66 of the 99 seats in the Statehouse and they have used that power to attack Ohio’s environment, public schools, and safety net programs while simultaneously promoting the interests of large corporations, Big-Agra, fracking, and Big-Pharma which has resulted in the current opioid epidemic that rampages through Ohio.” Svigelj was raised Catholic and is now an atheist.


Julie Fahey

Running for: Oregon State House (District 14)

Julie Fahey is running for re-election to Oregon’s 14th State House District. Fahey, who doesn’t identify with any religion, believes “critical thinking and science can best help us understand our world.” Her public policy decisions are “guided by evidence and a rational approach to decision-making, rather than by dogma or religious beliefs.” She is passionate about protecting the environment, expanding economic opportunities, improving education, defending a woman’s right to choose, and is a “tireless voice against discrimination in all its forms.”

Pam Marsh

Running for: Oregon State House (District 5)

Pam Marsh is running for re-election to Oregon’s 5th State House District. She is not affiliated with a religious organization and believes that “one’s religious views are irrelevant to public office.” Marsh has served as an Ashland City Council member and manager of the Ashland Emergency Food Bank. She earned a BA in Political Science from Southern Oregon University. Marsh is committed to strengthening public education and health care delivery systems, increasing affordable housing and the minimum wage, and addressing climate change by fostering an energy economy based on renewable resources and emerging technologies.


Gayle Jordan

Running for: Tennessee State Senate (District 14)

Gayle Jordan ran for election to Tennessee’s State Senate District 14. In the March 13 special election Jordan earned 28% of the vote. She identifies as a secular humanist and is a member of Murfreesboro Freethinkers. Jordan is an attorney and serves as the executive director of Recovering From Religion. Jordan says she has “watched the legislature of my beloved state govern with unkind, uncaring, and unnecessary legislation, costing the state millions of dollars in legal battles. I listened as they made divisive and hateful statements regarding immigrants, refugees, members of the LBGT community, women, the uninsured, and the poor.” She ran to correct these injustices and end intrusive government overreach.


Les Carnes

Running for: Texas State House (District 45)

Les Carnes ran for the Texas House in the 45th District. In the March 6 Democratic primary Carnes earned 24% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of three candidates. Having spent 27 years as a public servant in the Comptroller’s office, Carnes is tired of seeing the extremist agenda promoted by the Koch brothers’ American Legislative Council (ALEC) hijack these state revenues to serve only the privileged few and push “un-Texan” initiatives like the infamous, discriminatory, and unnecessary “bathroom bill.” Carnes will work to counter ALEC and restore and increase funding to women’s and children’s healthcare and the infrastructure for our roads and bridges. Carnes was raised Methodist, but is now religiously unaffiliated.

Laura Gunn

Running for: Texas State House (District 33)

Laura Gunn is running for the Texas State House in District 33. She wants to expand Medicaid to include the working poor, explore legalizing medical marijuana, and work with “business and city leaders to assimilate veterans back into our city culture and provide widened access to resources.” She is active in her community volunteering her time and resources with groups assisting veterans, children, and animals. She is also a stay-at-home parent and a Girl Scout leader. Gunn was raised Catholic, currently attends a Methodist church, and is an ally of the secular community.

Valerie Hefner

Running for: Texas State House (District 62)

Valerie Hefner is running for the Texas State House in District 62. From her family’s experience she is a strong advocate for protecting immigrants and the LGBTQ community because “inclusion makes us stronger.” This is why she sought, and was pleased to accept, the endorsement from the Freethought Equality Fund. Hefner is also passionate about access to quality healthcare for all Americans, a public education system that provides life skills and values to foster productive careers and good citizenship, and ensuring our veterans have the care and tools to succeed in civilian life. Hefner identifies as spiritual and is an ally of the secular community.

Fredrick Infortunio

Running for: Texas State House (District 130)

Fredrick Infortunio is running for the Texas State House in District 130. As a retired chemical and safety engineer, Dr. Infortunio is seeking to apply his lifelong pursuit of knowledge and public service for use in the Texas political arena to improve the lives of Texans. This includes ensuring the environment is livable for future generations and that our education system is fully funded. Infortunio promotes the adoption of a progressive state income tax and an estate tax to end putting “personal and business interests above the interests of the people of Texas.” He identifies as spiritual, but not religious. His theory of governance and motto is: “Government for the common good.”

Amanda Jamrok

Running for: Texas State House (District 23)

Amanda Jamrok is running for the Texas State House in District 23. Jamrock is a progressive candidate who is campaigning to protect and foster reproductive choice, LGBTQ rights, quality and affordable healthcare, environmental and safety regulations, and high-quality public education. She is also seeking to reform the foster care system, advance medical marijuana, and protect the immigrant community. Jamrok believes that “the greatest aspect of our country is our diversity. We can coexist and respect each other’s cultures and religions without holding each other to religious rules that we do not adhere.” Jamrok was raised Methodist, but is not religious now.

Alec Johnson

Running for: Texas State House (District 11)

Alec Johnson is running for the Texas State House in District 11. With a varied career in community mental health, software engineering, small business management, and grassroots organizing, Johnson has experience in solving complex problems. He is running because the “big problems we face demand big solutions.” Johnson’s agenda includes establishing a living wage that provides a path out of poverty and revives the middle class, ensuring local control of environmental policy to defend our communities from toxic industrial threats, ending the phony war on drugs and attacks against immigrants and the LGBT community, and embracing clean energy to create jobs and protect our environment. Johnson identifies as a deist in the tradition of Thomas Paine.

Chris Miller

Running for: Texas State House (District 12)

Chris Miller ran for the Texas House in the 12th District. In the March 6 Democratic primary Miller earned 40% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. He identifies as humanist and agnostic atheist. Miller is committed to “bring a voice to the voiceless as well as power to those that feel they have none.” He will work to strengthen public education and healthcare systems, increase the minimum wage, end gerrymandering, reform the criminal justice system, legalize marijuana, and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.

James Presley

Running for: Texas State House (District 29)

James Presley is running for the Texas House in the 29th District. Presley won the March 6 Democratic primary with 60% of the vote. He identifies as agnostic. Presley is a Navy veteran and wants to be a “voice of reason” in the Texas legislature. Being 23 years old, he believes we need more young, independent thinkers in our government. Presley is committed to the reform of: the healthcare system, including healthcare cost caps; the educational system, including “life skills” training; and, the criminal justice system, including legalizing medical marijuana.

Jon Rosenthal

Running for: Texas State House (District 135)

Jon Rosenthal is running for the Texas State House in District 135. Rosenthal is an engineer by training so he is “driven to find reasonable, data-driven solutions to the challenges our communities face.” He is a progressive candidate focusing on making public schools a state priority, to create positive changes – starting with valuing and supporting teachers and revising public school testing and evaluation systems. Rosenthal argues that it “has become clear that we have not come as far as we thought, and the fight for equality for ALL must be renewed.” He will strongly advocate for communities that have been underserved by the current representative in the state legislature. Rosenthal identifies as agnostic.

Glenn Williams

Running for: Texas State Senate (District 5)

Glenn Williams ran for the Texas State Senate in District 5. In the March 6 Democratic primary Williams earned 12% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of three candidates. With nearly 30 years of service as an attorney with the Texas Child Protective Services, Williams resigned from his job to seek this seat. He was well aware that his campaign is a long-shot, but his mission was to restore confidence in government and ensure that it works to protect our vulnerable citizens. Through humor and education Williams is working to increase the public’s understanding and participation in their own governance. Williams will start by countering the anti-government rhetoric popular with Texas politicians, restoring funding and programs to help those in need, and holding agencies and public officials accountable to serve all Texans. Williams is a member of a progressive Unitarian Universalist congregation and does not use a religious identifier.


Sam Young

Running for: Vermont State House (Orleans-Caledonia District 1)

Sam Young is running for re-election to the Vermont State House – Orleans-Caledonia-1 District. Young was raised Christian, but is now agnostic. He was first elected in 2010 and is serving in his fourth term. Young is working to expand broadband and telecommunications in this district to increase economic opportunities, realign tax policy as a member of the Ways and Means Committee to increase funding for public education, and decriminalize Marijuana possession and invest in drug treatment and harm reduction services.


Jennifer Goulet

Running for: Washington State House (District 9)

Jennifer Goulet is running for Washington State’s House of Representatives as the 9th Legislative District State Representative – Position 1. Goulet identifies as a secular humanist and has been active in many secular groups including the Tri-City Freethinkers, Secular Coalition for Washington and Mid-Columbia Coalition of Reason. She is also on the board of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho. Goulet says, “I strongly believe that the separation of church and state is being eroded. As an elected representative, I will do everything in my power to ensure that ceases.” In addition to the separation of government and religion, Goulet advocates for enabling sustainable access to clean water, enhancing affordable education, and investing in crucial infrastructure projects in her district from highways to airports.

West Virginia

Monica Addington

Running for: West Virginia State House (District 41)

Monica Addington is running for the West Virginia House of Delegates in District 41. As the mother of a lesbian, Addington is running on a platform of LGBTQ rights and on being a strong voice for the underrepresented populations of West Virginia. She will also fight for free or affordable insurance because health care should be a basic human right. In addition, she will work for equal pay and employment opportunities for women, expanding access to birth control and sex education, and providing free feminine hygiene products in public schools. Addington identifies as agnostic.

Bibi Hahn

Running for: West Virginia State House (District 58)

Bibi Hahn is running for the West Virginia State House in District 58. Her campaign slogan is “The People First!” Hahn is committed to promoting the interests of the people of West Virginia over the profits of corporations, and “being a delegate that represents a transparent government where ALL citizens feel welcome, included, and heard.” She says, “We desperately need an economy that works for everyone, where everyone has the opportunities and tools to reach their goals.” Hahn is an ally of the secular community.

Justin “Dick” Salisbury

Running for: West Virginia State Senate (District 17)

Justin “Dick” Salisbury is running for the West Virginia State Senate in District 17. He is campaigning to shake up the status quo in West Virginia – a continuation of the efforts that earned him his nickname. His campaign issues include legalizing recreational marijuana to stimulate the local economy and reduce opioid addictions and deaths, and gun controls on bump stocks and assault rifles – “Let’s leave the military grade hardware with the military.” Salisbury is an atheist. He says, “It’s time to believe in ourselves, and not some omnipotent dictator in the sky.”

Roger Vannoy

Running for: West Virginia State House (District 42)

Roger Vannoy is running for the West Virginia House of Delegates in District 42. Vannoy is a Marine Corps veteran and registered nurse. He is running because West Virginia needs “new leadership with new ideas.” Vannoy wants to follow Colorado’s lead and legalized recreational marijuana, which helped to increase state revenues and decrease opioid deaths. He is also seeking to increase the minimum wage and decrease taxes for the working class to help lift his fellow West Virginians out of poverty. In addition, he wants to remove the remaining “blue laws,” which needlessly hamper the state’s economy. Vannoy is not religious.


Melissa Sargent

Running for: Wisconsin State House (District 48)

Melissa Sargent is running for re-election to the Wisconsin State Assembly District 48. Sargent identifies as agnostic. She was first elected in 2012 and is serving in her third term. In the harsh political environment created by Governor Scott Walker and the Republican controlled Assembly and Senate, Sargent has been a strong progressive voice to fully fund public schools and make college affordable, increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, enact common sense gun control, legalize marijuana, and protect women’s reproductive choices.