2019 Endorsements

Karl Frisch

Running for: Fairfax County (VA) School Board (Providence District)

Karl Frisch won election to the Fairfax County (VA) School Board – Providence District with 62% of the vote. As the executive director of Allied Progress, a consumer watchdog organization, Frisch developed creative and effective campaigns to stand up to powerful corporate interests and their political allies in Washington. He previously worked for a host of Democratic party committees and progressive advocacy organizations and has helped elect Democratic mayors, state legislators, members of Congress, governors, and senators. Now he is running for his first elected office to “a bold progressive voice…fighting for equity, equality, environmental sustainability, strong fiscal stewardship, and educational excellence for all students regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, income, or the zip code they call home.” If elected, Frisch will be the first openly LGBTQ local elected official in Fairfax County. He is agnostic.

Herb Jones

Running for: Virginia State Senate (District 3)

Herb Jones ran for the Virginia State Senate in District 3, earning 38% of the vote. He is a retired, combat-decorated US Army colonel who served two tours in Iraq. He’s also a small business owner, and the former 3-term treasurer for New Kent County, Virginia. With this background he has a strong focus on transparency, and economic equity issues to include education, taxes and criminal justice. Jones promises on his first day in office, “I will introduce a bill to modernize Virginia’s tax structure to provide a tax break to Virginians earning less than $60,000 per year; I will also craft and submit legislation that will provide early childhood education to all Virginia families, and I will fight to continue to provide quality healthcare to all Virginians.” The Virginia General Election is on November 05, 2019. Jones is religiously unaffiliated.

Flo Ketner

Running for: Virginia State Senate (District 19)

Flo Ketner ran for the Virginia State Senate in District 19, earning 28% of the vote. Ketner was raised in poverty in rural Virginia by her disabled grandmother after her mother painfully lost her battle with drug abuse. These experiences shaped her life and her motivation to build a community in which we “all have the ability to sleep at night knowing that when we wake up in the morning, we are going to have a warm place to live, food on the table, and help when we need it.” Her policy priorities include protecting the environment, advocating for better roads and infrastructure including broadband connectivity, creating access to affordable healthcare, addressing the opioid and drug crisis, and preventing gun violence. Ketner is spiritual and an ally of the atheist and humanist community.

Eric Stamps

Running for: Virginia General Assembly (District 14)

Eric Stamps ran for the Virginia General Assembly in District 14, earning 38% of the vote. While earning a living as a freelance designer, Stamps has spent a great deal of this time working to get Democratic candidates elected in his community and statewide. He also founded Indivisible Southside to help his community become more engaged in politics. His policy agenda includes guaranteeing health care for all, increasing the availability of affordable housing, legalizing adult marijuana use, addressing climate change, increasing funds for public education, and raising the minimum wage. Stamps is religiously unaffiliated.

Ashton P. Woods

Running for: Houston (TX) City Council (At-Large 5)

Ashton P. Woods ran for the Houston (TX) City Council – At-Large 5, earning 6% of the vote. A community activist since the age of 15, Ashton has been a strong advocate in Houston for the LGBTQIA, homeless, and immigrant communities. He has also fought to end rape and sexual assault, violence against people of color, and unjust criminal punishment. His campaign “is about bringing people together to create comprehensive solutions to build a better Houston for all of us.” Ashton’s policy priorities include: increased investment in healthcare services including provisions for mental health treatment as well as HIV and other stigmatized conditions, refocusing investment in programs that improve and uplift rather than criminalize members of our community, and advancing economic programs to increase employment opportunities and ensure livable wages. He is the co-founder and lead organizer for Black Lives Matter Houston, a member of the Houston Mayor’s LGBT Advisory Board, and co-chair of the Black Humanist Alliance an adjunct organization of the American Humanist Association. Ashton identifies as a humanist and atheist.

Andrew Zwicker

Running for: New Jersey General Assembly (District 16)

Andrew Zwicker is a scientist, legislator, and atheist, who won re-election to the New Jersey General Assembly in District 16. Assemblyman Zwicker is the far too rare scientist-legislator. He is a physicist and Head of Science Education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. His victory in 2015 was the biggest upset in New Jersey when he won by less than 100 votes. His re-election win in 2017 was more comfortable, but still close and this year he has one of the most competitive races in NJ. As a scientist, Andrew promotes public policy using evidence-based decision making, not ideology, and is focused on rebuilding the state’s infrastructure and economy, protecting the environment, and protecting our democracy.

Virginia Incumbent Allies

Running for: Virginia General Assembly and Senate

We are please to endorse five Virginia incumbents seeking re-election to the Virginia General Assembly and Senate who are allies of the atheist and humanist community: Patrick Hope (Del-47), Janet Howell, (Sen-32), Mark Sickles (Del-43), Marcus Simon (Del-53) and Vivian Watts (Del-39). All our endorsed allies won re-election.


Stephen Burd

Running for: New Jersey General Assembly (District 28)

Stephen Burd ran for New Jersey’s General Assembly in District 28 earning 6.5% of the vote in the Democratic primary. He finished third with the top two candidates moving on to the general election. As an English teacher for six years and a professional school counselor for the past seven years, Burd has dedicated his entire career to public education. He grew up in a proud union household and is a member of national and local teachers’ unions. Burd believes in strengthening workers’ and individuals’ rights and providing access for all people to attend community college, public university, or learn a trade for free. He also believes in fighting for clean drinking water and renewable energy. The New Jersey Democratic primary was on June 4th. Burd is religiously unaffiliated.

Mark Friedenberg

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Pennsylvania 12)

Marc Friedenberg ran for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District and earned 32% of the vote. This was a special election held on May 21 due to the resignation of the Republican incumbent Tom Marino. Friedenberg is an instructor of cybersecurity and cyberlaw at Penn State and a lawyer who sued the Wall Street banks responsible for the 2008 financial crisis. He is running to “bring high-paying jobs, modern infrastructure, and honest representation back to Pennsylvania’s 12th District.” His policy priorities include: guaranteeing healthcare for every American and protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions, bringing good-paying jobs and high-speed internet to the district, protecting the environment by fighting climate change and supporting local farmers, and protecting Medicare and Social Security. Friedenberg is culturally Jewish and is an ally of the secular community.

Roger Quesada and Mahmoud Mahmoud

Running for: New Jersey State Assembly (District 32)

Roger Quesada and Mahmoud Mahmoud ran a joint campaign for two seats on the New Jersey State Assembly in District 32. They earned 7.5% and 8% of the vote in the Democratic primary, respectively, finishing third and fourth with the top two candidates moving on the general election. Their campaign worked to embolden voters to transform their government so collective action can be taken on important issues such as the social and racial justice and the environment. Quesada and Mahmoud “care deeply about the environment and understand the crisis we’re facing due to policy inaction in dealing with the impending climate catastrophe. We care deeply about the RIGHT to healthcare for every member of our society. We care about social inequity, oppressive and separative policies and the deeply rooted issue of economic opportunities.” Their goal is to focus on intersectionality among different groups whether religious or secular. The New Jersey Democratic primary was on June 4. Mahmoud is Muslim and Quesada is religiously unaffiliated.

Karen Torrent

Running for: Virginia State Senate (District 35)

Karen E. Torrent ran for the Virginia State Senate in District 35 and earned 6% of the vote in the Democratic primary. She was a trial Attorney with U.S. Department of Justice in the Environment and Natural Resources Division and served as staff counsel for the House Energy and Commerce Committee under Chairman John Dingell. With this background she has a strong focus on energy and climate policy issues. Torrent promises on her first day in office, “I will introduce a bill to modernize Virginia’s utility regulatory framework, provide Virginians with clean and affordable energy choices, and put Virginia on a path to decarbonize our economy and protect our environment and health.” The Virginia Democratic primary was on June 11. Torrent is religiously unaffiliated.

Alison Underwood

Running for: Spartanburg (SC) School Board (District 2)

Alison Underwood ran for the Spartanburg (SC) District 2 School Board; however, she did not obtain ballot access. With a bachelor’s degree in Physics, minor in Math, plus concentrations in Astronomy and Biology, Underwood is passionate about ensuring that public education has a strong emphasis in science and engineering. She is an instructor at the John F. Green Spartanburg Science Center, which is a supplemental science resource for educators, parents, and students of Spartanburg County. Underwood sees that science literacy is more important now than ever for students so they can be prepared for careers in the technology and engineering sector expanding in her area and across the country. Underwood is a secular humanist.