2018 Endorsements – State & Local


Les Carnes

Running for: Texas State House (District 45)

Les Carnes is running for the Texas House in the 45th District. 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.

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.”

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.

Gayle Jordan

Running for: Tennessee State Senate (District 14)

Gayle Jordan is running for election to Tennessee’s State Senate District 14. This is a special election to fill the open seat on March 13. 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 is running to correct these injustices and end intrusive government overreach.

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.

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.

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.

Chris Miller

Running for: Texas State House (District 12)

Chris Miller is running for the Texas House in the 12th District. 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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.