2018 Endorsements

Federal, State & Local Endorsements

Freethought Equality Fund Endorsed Candidates

Please excuse the verb tense inconsistencies in the bios – we’ll clean this up at a later date. Thanks!

As a federal political action committee, the focus of the Freethought Equality Fund is Congressional candidates; however, running for – and winning – state and local seats is essential to increasing the visibility and political clout of the atheist and humanist community. The Freethought Equality Fund is proud to endorse secular candidates in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming for the 2018 elections.

Alabama

Charlotte Clark-Frieson

Running for: Alabama State House (District 37)

Charlotte Clark-Frieson ran for the Alabama State House in District 37. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5, and earned 29% of the vote in the general election. 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.

Mary Wynne Kling

Running for: Alabama State House (District 79)

Mary Wynne Kling ran for the Alabama State House in District 79. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5, and earned 42% of the vote in the general election. Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama and having lived in Alabama for most of her life, Kling has deep roots in District 79. Kling is an advocate for a well-funded public school system that provides high-quality education, Medicare expansion, investment in technical career training, and common sense gun legislation. Kling believes that “every Alabama resident should have access to quality, affordable healthcare,” has earned the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate Distinction, and believes that the people of her district “deserve a strong and independent representative in Montgomery who will put people over party.” Kling identifies as Episcopalian and is an ally of the secular community.

Emily Anne Marcum

Running for: Alabama State House (District 41)

Emily Anne Marcum ran for the Alabama State House in District 41. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5, and earned 25% of the vote in the general election. 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.

Alaska

Ghert Abbott

Running for: Alaska State House (District 36)

Ghert Abbott ran for election to the Alaska State House in District 36 – he suspended his campaign in August 2018. Abbott endorsed the re-election of independent incumbent Dan Ortiz. Abbott was motivated to run to solve Alaska’s ongoing deficit program and implement a progressive income tax. A historian and lifelong resident of Alaska, his policy priorities also include a full Permanent Fund Dividend, more investment in state social services and infrastructure, and an increase in state oil tax revenue to decrease the fiscal burden on working and middle-class Alaskans. Abbott is an atheist.

Shawn Butler

Running for: Alaska State House (District 29)

Shawn Butler ran for the Alaska State House in District 29. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 21, and earned 29% of the vote in the general election. A retired Lt. Colonel Army officer and a resident of Alaska since 1991, she is running “because Alaskans need and deserve a diversified long-term fiscal vision that sustains us through the ups and downs of oil revenues while investing in our future.” Butler’s issue priorities focus on affordable health care for everyone, funding education and public safety, and being a bridge builder in Juneau — focusing on concerns that impact Alaskans’ quality of life. Butler is spiritual but not religious.

Arizona

Andrea Dalessandro

Running for: Arizona State Senate (District 2)

Andrea Dalessandro won re-election to the Arizona State Senate in District 2. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 28, and earned 58% of the vote in the general election. A granddaughter of immigrants, high school math teacher, small business owner, and college professor, Dalessandro “has been able to live the American dream” and works to help Arizonans do the same. Dalessandro’s policy priorities include maximizing business opportunities in southern Arizona, keeping our promises to veterans, growing good-paying and sustainable jobs, supporting a well-educated workforce, and ensuring a sufficient water supply and clean air for the country. Dalessandro identifies as Catholic, attends a Unitarian Universalist congregation, and is an ally of the secular community.

Julie Gunnigle

Running for: Arizona State House (District 15)

Julie Gunnigle ran for the Arizona State House in District 15. She won the Democratic primary on August 28 with 34% of the vote for two slots to advance to the general election, and earned 21% of the vote in the general election. Raised in the district, she has donated her time and expertise as a lawyer to advocate for better education and maternity care. Gunnigle believes that we must “address the conflicts of interest, dark money, and corruption in our government,” that the legislature must keep education funding a top fiscal priority, every human being has a right to healthcare and the government can make it affordable, all people deserve reproductive justice and every child has the right to free and accessible public education, and science and climate change are real, and she will fight for those beliefs in the Arizona State House. Gunnigle was raised Catholic and is a strong defender of church-state separation.

Jennifer Jermaine

Running for: Arizona State House (District 18)

Jennifer Jermaine won election to the Arizona State House in District 18. She won the Democratic primary on August 28 with 38% of the vote for two slots to advance to the general election, and earned 26% of the vote in the general election. Jermaine decided to run “because our state should be a place of safety, opportunity, and prosperity for all.” She has spent years working in the nonprofit sector and helping Arizonans start their own small businesses. Jermaine “decided early on that my calling is to work for positive change in the public sector.” Her issue priorities include restoring public education funding, protecting our civil rights, including women’s bodily autonomy, and moving past hyper-partisanship to honor Arizona’s shared values. Jermaine was raised Catholic and is now religiously unaffiliated.

Lindsay Love

Running for: Chandler (Arizona) School Board

Lindsay Love won election to the Chandler (AZ) Unified School District Governing Board, earning 22% of the vote in the general election. As a social worker, she is running to foster inclusion for this increasingly diverse district, to bring a fresh and unique perspective to problem-solving, and to counter conservative efforts to bring religion into the public schools. Love says, “I believe that every child has the right to a quality, public education. I value respect and accountability between teachers, parents, the board and most importantly, the students.” She was raised Southern Baptist and is an ally of the secular community, but is not involved in organized religion.

JP Martin

Running for: Arizona State House (District 9)

JP Martin ran for the Arizona State House in District 9. In the August 28 Democratic primary Martin earned 12% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of three candidates. Martin has a strong background as an “entrepreneur, political strategist, lobbyist, public relations consultant, and economic development executive director” that provides experience and skills to “connect, convene, and resolve matters of concern in a calm and efficient manner.” His policy priorities are to build a stronger local economy to address poverty issues and “assure the economic well-being of our communities;” improving public education to ensure students have access to quality and a wide variety of opportunities; and, empower “local governments to address their specific needs without interference from outside influences.” Martin was raised Catholic, but is now religiously unaffiliated.

Juan Mendez

Running for: Arizona State Senate (District 26)

Juan Mendez won re-election to the Arizona State Senate in District 26. He won the Democratic primary on August 28 with 52% of the vote, and earned 64% of the vote in the general election. With a lifelong commitment to social justice and a passion for politics, Mendez has served on the City of Phoenix Human Services Advisory Committee, on the Tempe Community Council, and for the Arizona Democratic Party, where he advocated for funding for senior and family services and for programs for people experiencing homelessness. Mendez brings his experience managing Community Voice Mail, a local nonprofit working to connect people living in poverty and experiencing homelessness with jobs and housing, to the legislature, where he sits on the Transportation and Government Committees and is the chair of the Arizona Legislative Latino Caucus. His policy priorities include strengthening public education and protecting children in schools, increasing access to affordable housing, ensuring a living wage and employee protections, and comprehensive immigration reform, among others. Mendez identifies as an atheist.

Katie Paetz

Running for: Osborn (Arizona) School Board (District 26)

Katie Paetz won re-election to the Osborn (AZ) Governing School Board, earning 39% of the vote in the general election. With over ten years experience as a teacher and currently leading the board as president, Paetz is committed to serving students and families by using her insights as a teacher into developing policy and approaches that are inclusive to ensure children and families feel welcome in all educational spaces and effective in creating learning environments that encourage all students to succeed. She will also continue advocating for science-based educational approaches that help all students learn. Paetz is a secular humanist.

Athena Salman

Running for: Arizona State House (District 26)

Athena Salman won re-election to Arizona’s State House in the 26th Legislative District. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 28, and earned 39% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for Arizona’s State Senate in the 22nd Legislative District. In the August 28 Democratic primary Westbrook earned 41% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. 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.

Brianna Westbrook

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Arizona – District 8)

Brianna Westbrook ran for Arizona’s 8th Congressional seat, formerly held by Republican Trent Franks. Westbrook was not successful in the Special Election Democratic primary on Feburary 27, 2018; however, she did earn a very respectable 40% of the vote, which encouraged her to run for the Arizona State Senate (see above).

Arkansas

Nathan George

Running for: Arkansas State House (District 71)

Nathan George ran for the Arkansas State House in District 71. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 35% of the vote in the general election. Nathan’s campaign theme is “a bright way forward” – by improving the public education system, investing in renewable energy, and helping small businesses the state and all citizens of Arkansas will have a successful future. He says, “If the ‘good ole boy’ system hasn’t been working for you, it is time to try something different.” He is currently a city council member in Russellville, AR and a small business owner, who strives to provide a diverse workforce with more than a living wage in a healthy working environment. George is a progressive Christian and an ally of the secular community.

Mark Kinion

Running for: Arkansas State House (District 86)

Mark Kinion ran for the Arkansas State House in District 86. In the May 22 Democratic primary Kinion earned 36% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. Kinion is a scientist by education and profession and also serves as the Vice Mayor of Fayetteville and on the City Council. Because of his strong advocacy for LGBTQ rights, labor, and gun control, his campaign has been endorsed by the Victory Fund and the AFL-CIO Northwest Arkansas Labor Council, and he has received the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction. Kinion is also a strong supporter of building for the state’s future by infrastructure improvement including mass transit and clean energy and water; protecting all constituents by ensuring guarantees of fair housing, employment, and education for everyone; and, providing access to quality affordable public healthcare. Kinion is a Methodist, but does not hold supernatural beliefs.

Jess Mallett

Running for: Arkansas State House (District 32)

Jess Mallett ran for the Arkansas State House in District 32. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 47% of the vote in the general election. Seeking to bring new leadership and fresh ideas to the legislature, Mallett wants “to strengthen our public education; bring better paying jobs to the state and energize Arkansas’s middle class.” She will “work for the people of Arkansas, not the special interest groups who have been influencing our legislature for too long.” Mallett was raised Methodist and is an ally of the secular community.

Chase Mangiapane

Running for: Arkansas State House (District 38)

Chase Mangiapane ran for Arkansas State House of Representatives in District 38, earning 47% of the vote in the general election. He says, “I am running for state representative because I believe we can do more.” Chase believes “it is time for the legislature to start working for all Arkansans, no matter their race, gender, religion, or economic status,” and wants to take his professional experience as a lawyer fighting for individuals who have been wronged by others to the legislature. His policy priorities focus on access to quality and affordable healthcare for all Arkansans, ensuring that future generations have opportunities to succeed through public education, and creating an environment in Arkansas that attracts economic development, supports small businesses, and ensures equal pay for women. Chase considers himself a strong ally of the secular community and secular causes.

Maureen Skinner

Running for: Arkansas State Senate (District 35)

Maureen Skinner ran for the Arkansas State Senate in District 35. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 45% of the vote in the general election. As a lifelong “helper,” a Licensed Psychological Examiner, and as a mom, Maureen’s policy priorities focus on improving public schools, healthcare as a right not a privilege, supporting youth and seniors, repealing discriminatory laws, furthering sustainable economic development, protecting Arkansas’ environment as the Natural State, and campaign finance reform. She says, “As a strong supporter of progressive policies that impact our communities, I will fight for quality, debt-free, public education, access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare, science based policy evaluation and decision making, technological advancement, economic opportunity and social equality.” Skinner does not publicly discuss her religion, but she is an ally to both the religious and secular communities.

Jim Wallace

Running for: Arkansas State Senate (District 5)

Jim Wallace ran for the Arkansas State Senate in District 5. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 29% of the vote in the general election. Wallace’s legislative agenda is focused on a “compassionate government that cares that people have access to affordable, quality healthcare, food, medicine, housing and emergency services.” He will fight for economic growth, a living wage, quality public education, campaign finance reform, and a safe and healthy environment. As an agnostic, Wallace will base his public policy decisions “on the best scientific evidence.”

California

Caney Arnold

Running for: California State House (District 66)

Caney Arnold ran for the California State Assembly in District 66. In the June 5 primary Arnold earned 6% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of three candidates. Arnold decided to seek this office because he was dissatisfied with current elected officials and the “theatrics in our political process which makes it difficult for voters to find relevant and trustworthy information.” In addressing policy issues he was transparent with his constituents and will discuss with voters “the difficult trade offs involved in setting state policy.” Arnold’s policy priorities include ending government corruption, protecting his community from industrial environmental threats, implementing effective campaign finance reform, enacting a universal health care system, and increasing affordable housing. Arnold is an atheist.

Roza Calderon

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (California – District 4)

Roza Calderon ran for Congress in California’s 4th Congressional District. In the June 5 primary Calderon earned 6% of the vote – finishing 5th in a field of six candidates. Calderon is a geoscientist, activist, and single mother seeking to bring real change to Congress. Her activism has been recognized in endorsements by Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, who are working to curtail the corporate control of Congress. Her progressive agenda includes: combating climate change, fighting for Medicare for All, and building an inclusive economy. Calderon was raised Catholic, but is now a secular humanist.

Peter Choi

Running for: California State Senate (District 24)

Peter Choi ran for the California State Senate in the 24th district which covers the east side of Los Angeles. In the June 5 primary Choi earned 30% of the vote, finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates, advancing him to the general election. He earned 33% of the vote in the general election. Choi’s campaign themes are social justice, economic equality and protecting the environment. He believes in ensuring social justice by banning the for-profit-prison system and providing affordable & low income housing, economic equality by providing single payer healthcare for all Californians and making state colleges tuition free, and protecting the environment by banning fracking, stopping clear cutting of forests and moving aggressively to clean, renewable energy. Choi is spiritual and an ally of the secular community.

Frank Guzman

Running for: California State House (District 52)

Frank Guzman ran for the California State Assembly in District 52. In the June 5 primary Guzman earned 14% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of four candidates. Currently the vice president and board member of the Pomona Unified School District, Guzman ran for the school board because he had two children and saw problems with the schools – rather than just complain – he “decided to get involved and be part of the solution.” He wanted to take this experience to the Assembly to continue to help improve public education and “ensure our school districts are being transparent and held accountable to students and families.” His policy priorities also include “tackling issues that have plagued our communities for years such as homelessness, crime and air pollution.” Guzman was raised Catholic, but is now non-religious.

Kia Hamadanchy

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (California – District 45)

Kia Hamadanchy ran for Congress in California’s 45th Congressional District. In the June 5 primary Hamadanchy earned 2% of the vote – finishing 6th in a field of six candidates. Hamadanchy has devoted his career to “fighting for families across this country and to making sure that each and every American – no matter where they are from, who they love, or what religion they practice – is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.” Hamadanchy knows how Washington works having served as a staff member to U.S. Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. He promotes public policy that will “save the America that we love and admire” and to “preserve a livable world for our children and grandchildren.” While a number of his family members consider themselves to be Muslim, Hamadanchy was raised in a secular fashion and does not identify with any particular religion. He strongly believes in each and every American’s right to practice the faith of their choosing.

Harry He

Running for: California State House (District 9)

Harry He ran for California State Assembly in District 9, earning 31% of the vote in the general election. Born and raised in District 9, if elected, he would become one of the youngest legislators in the Assembly and fight for more progressive policies in California. He is a populist Democrat who seeks “to promote working class values, fiscal responsibility, openness and accountability in our government.” His issue priorities include getting money out of politics, ensuring healthcare for all Californians, cutting back the use of fossil fuels and promoting renewable energy, and working to reform California’s criminal justice system to decrease its incarcerated population. He is not religious.

Jared Huffman

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (California – District 2)

In his third term as a member of Congress, Jared Huffman won re-election to represent the North Coast of California from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. In the June 5 primary Huffman earned 74% of the vote – finishing 1st in a field of three candidates – advancing him to the general election. Huffman also earned 74% of the vote in the general election. He serves on the Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Huffman’s prior public service includes six years in the California State Assembly and working as a public interest lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Rep. Huffman identifies as humanist, agnostic, or nonreligious, and is the founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus.

Jerry McNerney

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (California – District 9)

Jerry McNerney won re-election to Congress in California’s 9th Congressional district. First elected in 2006, McNerney is a mathematician, energy specialist, and former wind-turbine engineer. As such, he serves on the House Committees on Energy & Commerce and Science, Space, & Technology and is the founder of the Campaign Finance Reform Caucus. As he believes “One of the most important responsibilities of Congress is developing laws that are consistent with our values and providing responsible oversight on behalf of the people who’ve elected to put their trust in us,” McNerney has championed legislation that invests in STEM education and renewable energy, safeguards our water supply, supports small businesses, invests in cities, improves broadband access, and ensures government accountability. If re-elected he will enact “policies that strengthen our communities and create economic opportunity for all Americans,” including continuing to fight for campaign finance reform and transparency, innovative energy policies, affordable housing, veterans services, and conservation. McNerney identifies as Catholic. He is a strong ally of the secular community and a founding member of the Congressional Freethought Caucus.

Carla Neal

Running for: Califoria State House (District 5)

Carla Neal ran for California State Assembly in District 5, earning 40% of the vote in the general election. With over 25 years of experience in public education and entrepreneurship, Neal believes “all of our children and young adults are the future, and we need to Come Together to pay-it-forward for their success, pursuit of happiness, and dreams.” Her issue priorities include pushing for single-payer healthcare, investing in strong community public education, consumer justice, and stopping dark money in politics. Neal is invested in protecting California’s environment, including promoting sensible sustainability management, working with scientists, and investing in renewable energy. She supports community restorative justice, building affordable and stable low-income housing, investing in public infrastructure such as broadband and safe roads and bridges and will, if elected, work with local businesses and nonprofits to provide retirement security to seniors, invest in a fair tax structure, and create a state bank of California. Neal is spiritual, but not religious.

Julia Peacock

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (California – District 42)

Julia Peacock ran for Congress in California’s 42nd Congressional District. In the June 5 primary Peacock earned 26% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of four candidates – advancing her to the general election, and earned 39% of the vote in the general election. Peacock is a high school teacher in a low-income, high-risk school because she believes “education is the great equalizer when it comes to being able to change your life circumstances for the better.” Her progressive agenda includes: fighting against climate change and creating clean energy jobs, protecting Dreamers and creating a comprehensive path to citizenship, and ensuring equal pay for equal work and access to quality reproductive healthcare. Peacock is a humanist.

Jess Phoenix

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (California – District 25)

Jess Phoenix ran for Congress in California’s 25th Congressional District. In the June 5 primary Phoenix earned 6% of the vote – finishing 4th in a field of five candidates. Phoenix is a Geologist focusing on the study of volcanoes and earthquakes. She uses her experience in understanding and managing physical threats to counter and combat the current political threats to our education system, scientific research, disaster preparedness, infrastructure, national parks and wildlife, and the offensive and dangerous attacks on immigrant families, women’s rights and healthcare coverage. Phoenix was raised Roman Catholic, but now identifies as a humanist and is a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Bill Quirk

Running for: California State House (District 20)

Bill Quirk won re-election to the California State Assembly in District 20, earning 75% of the vote in the general election. A nuclear physicist and the only rocket scientist to serve in the California state legislature, Quirk brings his in-depth, analytical perspective as a scientist to the legislature, where he is the Chair of the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee and sits on the Appropriations, Public Safety, Revenue and Taxation, and Utilities and Energy Committees. In his three terms in the Assembly, he has championed key legislation advancing clean energy technology and protecting the environment, expanding voter access and reforming campaign finance, protecting California’s water and women’s and children’s health and safety, and increasing transportation access and safety. Quirk identifies as a scientist.

Joy Silver

Running for: California State Senate (District 28)

Joy Silver ran for the California State Senate in District 28. In the June 5 primary Silver earned 35% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of three candidates, and earned 48% of the vote in the general election. Silver is a small business owner who has “the practical experience to get things done and strong values from a lifetime of experience serving seniors, providing healthcare to those in need and advocating for underserved communities and at-risk populations.” Her policy goals are on “bringing good jobs, investing in career and vocational training, providing universal health care coverage, building a clean energy economy and advocating for immigrant communities.” She is openly gay and has experienced discrimination and unfair treatment firsthand – she will stand against discrimination for the freethought community. Silver is culturally Jewish.

Michelle Singleton

Running for: California State House (District 67)

Michelle Singleton ran for California State Assembly in District 67, earning 37% of the vote in the general election. A proud mother, wife, and teacher, she was inspired to run after November 2016 when “it became clear that a seat in the state legislature was the most effective way for me to continue providing protections and opportunities for my family, students, and neighbors.” As she wants “to take the concerns and needs of the district to the state capitol on behalf of working families and the most vulnerable in our community,” Singleton’s issue priorities focus on expanding access to education, community infrastructure investment, job training, and supporting working families through paid family leave and comprehensive healthcare. Singleton was raised Lutheran but is not now affiliated with a religious organization.

Raquella Thaman

Running for: California State House (District 15)

Raquella Thaman ran for the California State Assembly in District 15. In the June 5 primary Thaman earned 1% of the vote – finishing 10th in a field of 12 candidates. Thaman is an attorney at a local nonprofit and former special education teacher. She is committed to eliminating the achievement gap in education and stemming the school to prison pipeline. She will work to implement a universal minimum income to help people living in poverty, increase affordable housing and encourage local ownership of housing stock especially for low income local families. Raquella will fight for easy access to high quality healthcare for all Californians regardless of their ability to pay. Environmental protection and ensuring a thriving environment for future generations is her guiding principle. She says, “Big money in politics presents a grave threat to our democracy and our environment.” She refused corporate contributions and relied primarily on support from members of the community “to prove that it can be done!” Thaman is not religious.

Seth Vaughn

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (California – District 10)

Seth Vaughn ran for Congress in California’s 10th Congressional District – he suspended his campaign in December 2017. Vaughn’s goal in running for Congress was “to restore democracy and get money out of politics.” The vast majority (88%) of incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham’s donors don’t live in his district – this was the 6th highest out of the 435 members of Congress in 2016. Vaughn was leading by example and refusing all out-of-district donations, including PAC money. He said, “We need to end our corrupt campaign finance system and start demanding democracy!” Vaughn identifies as atheist/agnostic.

Tony Zarkades

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (California – District 48)

Tony Zarkades ran for Congress in California’s 48th Congressional District. In the June 5 primary Zarkades earned 0.7% of the vote – finishing 13th in a field of 16 candidates. Zarkades served eight years as an officer in the Marine Corp, and is now an airline pilot. He ran to save the middle class and attempt to prove that a good man can get elected to Congress. Zarkades was raised Greek Orthodox, but now considers himself not religious. He stated, “In a way, you could say the Constitution is my religion. My living room displays pictures of the Founding Fathers, Washington’s crossing of the Delaware, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, much like people might have a picture of the Last Supper or Christ’s crucifixion. You will not find a stronger candidate to advocate for secularism and the rights of non-believers.”

Colorado

Rebecca Cranston

Running for: Colorado State Senate (District 15)

Rebecca Cranston ran for the Colorado State Senate in District 15. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 26, and earned 47% of the vote in the general election. Cranston is a third-generation Colorado native and loves being able to call this beautiful state home. She is a proven leader, having worked previously as a director for a healthcare organization, a consultant for school and government agencies, and after overcoming homelessness as a child, she founded a child welfare non-profit and is a foster parent. Cranston says, “I have one goal: to create a better world, and that is only possible through reason, evidence, and a science-informed public policy. Climate change is a reality, women’s rights are under attack, and education for all Americans has never been more crucial. I promise to represent my constituents of all faiths and those of no faith at all, with full respect for the separation of church and state.”

Betty Field

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Colorado – District 5)

Betty Field ran for Congress in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District. She was not successful in her bid to win primary ballot access at the Democratic state convention in April. Field has an extensive history in social work, assisting children mired in environments with violence, addiction, and poverty. She also served as executive director of an LGBTQ legislative action group. Betty has seen the issues facing poor and middle-class families and she is determined to help by making free quality education available through an Associates Degree or Technical Education Certification and by making health care a human right with Medicare For All. Field was raised Roman Catholic but is not religious now.

Chris Kennedy

Running for: Colorado State House (District 23)

Chris Kennedy won re-election to the Colorado State House in District 23. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 26, and earned 62% of the vote in the general election. 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.

Andrew Smith

Running for: Colorado State House (District 16)

Andrew Smith ran for the Colorado State House in District 16. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 26, and earned 35% of the vote in the general election. Smith wants “to be a voice for our community, and represent our neighbors with respect and civility, working in a way that makes us all proud.” As an Army veteran, Smith supports a living wage, lowering taxes for small businesses, promoting clean energy incentives, universal healthcare, and investing in public schools. Smith identifies as agnostic.

Brianna Titone

Running for: Colorado State House (District 27)

Brianna Titone won election to the Colorado State House in District 27. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 26, and earned 50.4% of the vote in the general election. A geologist and newcomer to politics, Titone loves the open space and wants to preserve it by helping Colorado reach 100% renewable energy. As “she believes that more people are needed in government that don’t just follow their agenda, but listen to their constituents and hear their concerns,” she is also passionate about developing smart transportation solutions, funding teachers and schools fairly, attainable housing and a living wage, a single-payer healthcare system and addressing the opioid crisis, fighting for LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, supporting veterans, better training for law enforcement officials, a worker’s right to organize, protecting reproductive rights, safeguarding net neutrality, common sense gun laws, campaign finance reform, and ending homelessness. Titone is spiritual but not religious.

Julia Varnell-Sarjeant

Running for: Colorado State Senate (District 30)

Julia Varnell-Sarjeant ran for the Colorado State Senate in District 30. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 26, and earned 41% of the vote in the general election. A fifth-generation Coloradoan, Varnell-Sarjeant’s policy priorities include prohibiting dark money in politics, investing in public schools and opposing school vouchers to private schools, protecting the environment through investing in renewable energy and expanding state parks, prioritizing public transit, and using her background in cybersecurity to protect Colorado’s voting infrastructure. She says, “We need a state government that can provide protection against deteriorating school, safety, and environmental standards from the Federal government. The time to defend Colorado is now.” Varnell-Sarjeant is a strong defender of church-state separation.

Connecticut

Josh Elliott

Running for: Connecticut State House (District 88)

Josh Elliott won re-election to the Connecticut State Assembly in District 88. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14, and earned 70% of the vote in the general election. An attorney and small business owner, Elliott understands the importance of investing in working families and businesses. As vice chairman of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and as a member of the Energy and Technology, the Higher Education and Employment Advancement, and the Children committees in the Assembly, he “has advocated for implementing progressive policies that will help improve Connecticut’s finances and allow it to remain competitive with surrounding states,” including legalizing recreational marijuana, equalizing property tax rates, establishing a paid family and medical leave system, and increasing the minimum wage. In addition, Elliott will continue to champion a fair and sustainable state budget, clean and fair elections, ranked choice voting, and entrepreneurship development in the state. Elliott identifies as an agnostic atheist.

Michelle Lapine McCabe

Running for: Connecticut State Senate (District 28)

Michelle Lapine McCabe ran for the Connecticut State Senate in District 28. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14, and earned 48% of the vote in the general election. McCabe serves as the Director of the Center for Food Equity and Economic Development in Bridgeport. She is running because she “believes in Connecticut’s ability to have a prosperous state for all, but it’s going to take hard work and innovative solutions.” Committed to building bridges, coalitions, and consensus among her colleagues in Hartford, her policy priorities focus on strengthening Connecticut’s small businesses, increasing opportunities for a living wage, investing in infrastructure and transportation, and making Connecticut flourish for all through affordable housing, a fair tax code, and regional community projects. McCabe identifies as a secular Jew.

District of Columbia

Brianne Nadeau

Running for: Council of the District of Columbia (Ward 1)

Brianne Nadeau won re-election to the Council of the District of Columbia in Ward 1. She defeated three challengers in the Democratic primary, and earned 71% of the vote in the general election. Serving in her first term of office, Nadeau has added and protected more than 500 affordable housing units, secured more that $200 million to improve public schools, increased funding for the police department including the implementation of the use of body cameras, expanded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits to help more families, and lead efforts to pass universal paid family leave and raise the minimum wage. Nadeau is Jewish and an ally of the secular community.

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (DC – At-Large)

Eleanor Holmes Norton won re-election to Congress for D.C.’s At-Large House of Representatives seat earning 87% of the vote in the general election. Now in her fourteenth term as the Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, she is the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit and serves on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Committee on Homeland Security. As the first woman to chair the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Norton has used this experience to bring significant economic development to the District of Columbia, including funding for D.C. high school graduates to attend public universities across the U.S., a D.C. homebuyer tax credit, and senatorial courtesy to recommend federal judges. If elected, she will continue to break barriers for her disempowered district by advocating for job creation and representation rights. Norton identifies as Episcopalian and is a strong ally of the secular community.

Florida

Debra Bellanti

Running for: Florida State House (District 60)

Debra Bellanti ran for the Florida State House in District 60. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 48% of the vote in the general election. Her policy priorities are to better serve her community include restoring respect and funding to public schools; fighting for the rights of women, the working class, a living wage, and unions; defending smart development and responsible growth that protects Florida’s land, water, and coastline; keeping state legislators from overriding local municipalities; and correcting laws regarding gun responsibility to keep children safe in schools. Bellanti was raised in a Christian home, her husband and 9-year-old daughter are both baptized, although not practicing, Catholics. Debra Bellanti believes in religious freedom, which includes being atheist or agnostic, and stands firm on the separation of church and state.

Kelly Damerow

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

Kelly Damerow ran for the Brevard County (FL) School Board in District 5. She advanced to the general election with her strong second place showing in the nonpartisan primary on August 28, and earned 43% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for the Florida State House in District 52 – she suspended her campaign in May. She ran 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 is an “advocate for the democratic values of justice, equity, and compassion in human relations” and wanted to provide voters with a choice on the ballot that would “bring reason, integrity, and empathy to decision making in Tallahassee.” Fuller is an ordained community minister with the Unitarian Universalists and a religious humanist.

Alanis Elizabeth Garcia

Running for: Florida State House (District 77)

Alanis Elizabeth Garcia ran for the Florida State House in District 77. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 28, and earned 37% of the vote in the general election. Garcia’s policy priorities focus on civil rights, especially protecting the LGBTQIA community, safeguarding Florida’s water and public land, and gun reform — including a ban on bump stocks, universal background checks, and gun safety training. She says, “I do not believe anyone’s religious beliefs should allow them to legislate their beliefs onto others and will fight attempts to do so.” Garcia identifies as agnostic.

Annisa Karim

Running for: Florida State Senate (District 28)

Annisa Karim ran for the Florida State Senate in District 28. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 28, and earned 34% of the vote in the general election. Karim holds a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and has been working as an ecologist in southwest Florida for 20 years. The first Democratic challenger to the Republican incumbent in her district in three election cycles, Karim is running because “I want a government that works for ALL the people and gets things done!” Her issue priorities include protecting Florida’s public lands, protecting the environment, quality public education, gun reform, affordable housing, and a living wage. Karim identifies as Muslim and is a strong defender of church-state separation.

Mark Lipton

Running for: Florida State House (District 79)

Mark Lipton ran for the Florida State House in District 79. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 28, and earned 41% of the vote in the general election. An attorney, parent, and grandfather, Lipton has extensive community service experience and has “learned what both small business owners as well as working men and women expect from the government — the ability to be successful.” Ensuring access to healthcare and expanded Medicaid for the working poor is the main reason he is running for office. Lipton’s policy priorities also include criminal justice reform and voter rights restoration, raising the minimum wage, supporting public schools, protecting the environment and opposing fracking, improving local and statewide transportation, and increasing services for veterans. Lipton was raised Jewish, but is now more spiritual than religious.

Phil Moore

Running for: Florida State House (District 53)

Phil Moore ran for the Florida State House in District 53. He won the Democratic primary on August 28 with 73% of the vote, and earned 45% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for the Florida State House in District 24. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 39% of the vote in the general election. 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.

Tracy Pratt

Running for: Florida State House (District 71)

Tracy Pratt ran for the Florida State House in District 71. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 44% of the vote in the general election. In her career as a public interest attorney Pratt has worked for the Innocence Project of New Orleans and the Louisiana Civil Justice Center. In Florida she advocates for environmental protection, affordable housing, under privileged children, and helping people transition from prison to new productive lives in the community. Her policy agenda also includes improving public education, protecting the interests of senior citizens, and eradicating gun violence. Pratt identifies as Buddhist.

Julian Santos

Running for: Florida State Senate (District 36)

Julian Santos ran for the Florida State Senate in District 36. In the August 28 Democratic primary Santos earned 46% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. A son of Cuban immigrants, Santos “wants to go to Tallahassee to be a champion for ordinary Floridians” and “clean up the mess that Governor Rick Scott and Republicans in Tallahassee have created.” His policy priorities focus on expanding affordable healthcare, investing in education – especially in quality preschool and talented teachers, and preparing for climate change – including creating an agency called the Department of Climate Change Resilience. Raised Catholic, Santos is now not religious.

Carlos Guillermo Smith

Running for: Florida State House (District 49)

Carlos Guillermo Smith won re-election to the Florida State House in District 49. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 64% of the vote in the general election. First elected in 2016 with 69 percent of the vote, making history as Florida’s first openly LGBTQ Latino lawmaker, Smith “proudly identifies as a LGBTQ, Latino and forward thinking millennial feminist who reflects the values and diversity of Florida.” He also made history by inviting and arranging for atheist chaplain, Tee Rogers, to give the first ever humanist invocation to the Florida legislature. In addition, he educated, and fought with, members of his Democratic caucus to build opposition to unconstitutional school prayer legislation. Smith was raised Catholic, but now identifies as agnostic.

Jeffrey Solomon

Running for: Florida State House (District 115)

Jeffrey Solomon ran for the Florida State House in District 115. He won the Democratic primary on August 28 with 76% of the vote, and earned 49.5% of the vote in the general election. Solomon is running because “I’ve had a passion my whole life to serve people and make the lives of others better. I’ve done so with my family, with my patients, and in my community. I want to do more.” A father, husband, doctor, entrepreneur, and community leader, Solomon’s priorities focus on healthcare as a human right; free, equitable, accessible, and quality public education; environmental justice and keeping Florida’s public land public; responsible gun ownership and common sense gun legislation; economic justice, including a living wage, green job creation, investment in infrastructure, and paid family leave; expanding mass transit; engaging young people in politics; and open primaries in Florida. Solomon is Jewish and an ally of the secular community.

Kathleen Tripp

Running for: Florida State House (District 25)

Kathleen Tripp ran for the Florida State House in District 25. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 28, and earned 39% of the vote in the general election. An advocate for Florida’s natural resources since the age of eleven, Tripp is a Ph.D. trained scientist who “believes in using data and common sense to inform decision-making.” Tripp’s key issues include supporting local workers and small businesses in her community; defending funding for public education and creating apprenticeship programs; banning fracking, safeguarding the water supply, and making Florida a leader in clean energy production; and improving the accessibility of healthcare, including mental healthcare.

Jennifer Webb

Running for: Florida State House (District 69)

Jennifer Webb won election to the Florida State House in District 69. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 28, and earned 53% of the vote in the general election. Webb will “represent the interests of working families, to champion economic growth that is equitable and fair, to fund quality public education and end high stakes testing, and to promote environmental and energy policies that will protect Florida’s greatest assets – our drinking water, beaches, springs and other natural beauty.” Her legislative agenda also includes fighting community hunger, providing access to affordable housing and permanent housing for homeless families, investing in infrastructure and public transportation, and championing mental health and community health. Webb was raised Catholic and is now spiritual but not religious.

Georgia

Kathleen Allen

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Georgia – District 7)

Kathleen Allen ran for Congress in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District. In the May 22 Democratic primary Allen earned 11% of the vote – finishing 5th in a field of six candidates. She is a community leader, homelessness activist, and proud mom, whose career in managed healthcare grounds her support for establishing a single-payer healthcare system. She believes we must invest in our future through public schools, raise the minimum wage, and reduce our unemployment rate by supporting local businesses and reforming our immigration policies. Through her career, Allen developed an appreciation for, and understanding of, the complexity of the healthcare economy and would have brought to Congress a commitment to honest collaboration and fiscal responsibility on behalf of all Americans. Allen was raised in a secular home and identifies as an atheist.

Krish Bralley

Running for: Georgia State House (District 49)

Krish Bralley ran for the Georgia State House in District 49. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 46% of the vote in the general election. The first challenger to the Republican incumbent in the past seven election cycles, Bralley is running “because it is time we breathe new life into our State legislature.” As a small business owner and dedicated family man born and raised in Alpharetta, his issue priorities include strengthening public education, sensible gun legislation, decreasing congestion in transportation, reforming the criminal justice system, ending gerrymandering, and increasing access to reproductive health care. Bralley is an associate member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Rick Day

Running for: Georgia State House (District 7)

Rick Day ran for the Georgia State House in District 7. Day is a progressive Democrat who ran unopposed in the primary, and earned 16% of the vote in the general election. His Republican opponent is the Georgia Speaker of the House who has not had a Democratic opponent in at least the last five election cycles. Day was born and baptized in an Evangelical Christian community. He now leans Quaker, but does not hold supernatural beliefs.

Hank Johnson

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Georgia 4)

Hank Johnson won re-election to Congress in Georgia’s 4th Congressional District. He won the Democratic primary on May 22 with 77% of the vote, and the general election with 79% of the vote. First elected in 2006, Johnson “has distinguished himself as a substantive, effective lawmaker and a leading national progressive voice” and “has proven his ability to get things done.” He has served on the House Armed Services Committee and now serves on the House Judiciary and Transportation & Infrastructure Committees. In his tenure in the House, Johnson has championed legislation to level the playing field for everyday Americans, protecting consumers and citizens’ civil liberties, most notably sponsoring the Arbitration Fairness Act and the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act. If re-elected, he will continue to fight for digital inclusion and an open internet, environmental protection, increased government transparency and law enforcement accountability, consumer protection, and voting rights. Johnson is Buddhist and a strong ally of the secular community.

Michael Morgan

Running for: Georgia State Senate (District 54)

Michael Morgan ran for the Georgia State Senate in District 54. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 20% of the vote in the general election. As a dad and a scientist, Morgan is working to change the thirteen year-long Republican control of all three branches of government in Georgia. His policy priorities focus on gun control, including universal background checks, banning bump stocks, and gun violence prevention research; comprehensive healthcare reform, including Medicaid expansion, legalizing marijuana, and Medicare for all; raising the minimum wage to a living wage; and repairing and improving infrastructure and transportation. Morgan identifies as an Independent Baptist. He is an ally of the secular community and “will be a leader for the right to be free from religion, as well as a leader to be free to believe in whatever religion we wish, as long as said belief does not interfere with another’s right to believe or not believe.”

Andrea Nugent

Running for: Georgia State House (District 47)

Andrea Nugent ran for the Georgia State House in District 47. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 38% of the vote in the general election. The first challenger to the Republican incumbent in the last four election cycles, Nugent “believes that if we dramatically strengthen our public educational system, many of society’s’ problems will be solved.” With a background in business and engineering, her issue priorities focus on gun violence prevention, civil rights for all, expanding Medicaid and protecting PeachCare for Kids, protecting Georgia’s air and water quality, and defending reproductive rights. Nugent is a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Leonard Presberg

Running for: Fayette County (GA) Board of Education (District 4)

Leonard Presberg won re-election to the Fayette County (GA) Board of Education in District 4. He was unopposed in the general election. Presberg is a proven leader. In addition to serving as a coach and volunteer in various youth sports leagues, he is the Chair of the Fayette County Democratic Committee and the Treasurer of a local youth leadership development group. As a member of the school board, Presberg is committed to making sure the public school system provides world-class opportunities to every student. He believes in investing in the school’s teachers to allow them to provide superior instruction and promoting the use of technology to ensure their students have the skills they need to succeed. Presberg is non-religious and a humanist.

Brian Neil Rosser

Running for: Georgia State House (District 5)

Brian Neil Rosser ran for the Georgia State House in District 5. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 18% of the vote in the general election. The first challenger to the Republican incumbent in the last two election cycles, Rosser says his campaign for the “common Joe to take on the status quo.” His policy platform focuses on Medicaid expansion, safe and sustainable alternative and clean energy solutions, a living wage, reinvesting in public education, reducing dark money in politics, legalizing cannabis, eliminating fracking in the state, criminal justice reform, and common sense gun legislation. Rosser identifies as agnostic.

Karin Sandiford

Running for: Georgia State House (District 46)

Karín Sandiford ran for the Georgia State House in District 46. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 38% of the vote in the general election. A mother of four, a daughter of immigrants, and a corporate leader, “she is driven by a passion to empower others to become focused on solutions, helping our neighbors, and fearlessly tackle what seems impossible.” Sandiford’s policy agenda focuses on creating jobs and protecting employees, promoting gun safety and repealing campus carry, investing in education and making community colleges tuition-free, reforming healthcare and expanding Medicaid, and pursuing a better quality of life and offering a tax incentive to companies with Work From Home programs. She is deeply involved in empowering her community to participate in legislative matters. Sandiford identifies as Christian, but does not believe in religion and spirituality being legislated, and instead supports separating matters of church and state.

Hawaii

Matt LoPresti

Running for: Hawaii State Senate (District 19)

Matt LoPresti ran for the Hawaii State Senate in District 19, earning 49% of the vote. He is a university teacher, with a doctorate in philosophy, and has been a member of the Hawaii State House since 2014. LoPresti currently serves as Chair of the House Committee on Veterans, Military and International Affairs & Culture and the Arts and is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at a liberal arts college in Honolulu. LoPresti is now seeking a state senate seat having won the Democratic primary with 61% of the vote against two opponents. His policy agenda includes increasing high-quality public education and improving school grounds and facilities, growing better and higher-paying local jobs, creating affordable housing and transitioning people out of homelessness and into permanent housing, protecting the environment and health of his constituents, and ensuring that seniors have quality healthcare and the ability to age in place. LoPresti identifies with both the Catholic and Buddhist traditions and served as faculty advisor for the Secular Student Alliance group at the university where he teaches.

Idaho

Richard Boozel

Running for: Idaho State Senate (District 14)

Richard Boozel ran for the Idaho State Senate in District 14. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 30% of the vote in the general election. Boozel is a pilot and a former teacher. His policy agenda includes giving local governments the power to protect their environment and property rights by banning hydraulic drilling, developing new and clean sources of energy, expanding Medicaid coverage, and improving economic opportunities by investing in education and infrastructure improvements. A strong supporter of church-state separation, he will fight for the integrity of science, non-discrimination laws, and protecting our secular government. Boozel is a Christian and an ally of the secular community.

Grant Burgoyne

Running for: Idaho State Senate (District 16)

Grant Burgoyne won re-election to the Idaho State Senate in District 16. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 65% of the vote in the general election. Burgoyne’s legislative career has focused on building a strong economy with good paying jobs, improving public education and job training opportunities, protecting the environment and public lands, and welcoming refugees and others “who want to help build a stronger and better America.” He argues that public policy must be driven by common sense, reason, civility and inclusiveness, not extremism, fear, bigotry and bullying. Burgoyne is a Methodist and an ally of the secular community.

Jake Ellis

Running for: Idaho State House (District 15B)

Jake Ellis won election to the Idaho State House in District 15B, with 51% of the vote in the general election. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15. A retired firefighter with 27 years of service, Ellis now serves of the boards for the Conversation Voters of Idaho and Idaho AFL-CIO. As a fourth-generation Idahoan, he wants to expand education and economic opportunities to keep families in Idaho. As an avid outdoorsman, Ellis is committed to protecting public lands – in addition to family, he says, it’s the land that makes Idaho home. Ellis understands that freedom of religion is only realized by a separation between church and state. Government should serve its people regardless of their religious beliefs.

Chris Ho

Running for: Idaho State House (District 13B)

Chris Ho ran for the Idaho State House in District 13B. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 34% of the vote in the general election. The first challenger to the Republican incumbent in the last two election cycles, Ho is proud of his Idaho heritage and as a “father, coach, and neighbor I want better opportunities for our children here in Idaho.” His issue priorities focus on improving educational opportunities, building strong and healthy communities, creating a vision for Idaho’s future, and elevating the political discourse by leading with the values of commitment, loyalty, honesty, and integrity. Ho identifies as agnostic.

Cristina McNeil

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Idaho-1)

Cristina McNeil ran for Congress in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District. She won a contested Democratic primary on May 15 against two opponents with 69% of the vote, and earned 30% of the vote in the general election. A business owner, single mom, and one of ten children, McNeil established her interest in politics listening to her uncle, Pedro Vazquez Colmenares (Governor of the State of Oaxaca in Mexico) discuss important issues around the family dinner table. As she believes “kindness is the beginning of prosperity,” her policy priorities include improving teacher wages and state-run preschools, enhancing the Idaho Health Exchange, prioritizing Idaho’s infrastructure, increasing the minimum wage, expanding the right to collective bargaining, and immigration reform. McNeil identifies as Catholic and is an ally of the secular community.

Robert Nielsen

Running for: Idaho State Senate (District 34)

Robert Nielsen ran for the Idaho State Senate in District 34. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 16% of the vote in the general election. In this very red district, he is challenging an entrenched Republican incumbent who has not had a Democratic opponent in at least the last five elections. Nielsen’s campaign is working to change the political climate by educating voters with regard to scientific integrity, church-state separation, LGBTQ rights, public school funding, and environmental protection. Nielsen was raised Mormon, but now identifies as a realist.

Ilana Rubel

Running for: Idaho State House (District 18A)

Ilana Rubel won re-election to the Idaho State House in District 18A. She was unopposed in both the Democratic primary and general election. Rubel is an attorney specializing in counseling technology companies, and she volunteers in Boise schools teaching “Civics and the Constitution.” In the Idaho State House, she has been a strong advocate for increasing funding for public education, expanding Medicaid coverage, protecting public lands and the environment, and defending civil liberties. She has been a vocal opponent of all legislation that undermines the separation of church and state, and was instrumental in defeating a bill that sought to make the Bible a textbook for use in public schools. Rubel is Jewish and an ally of the secular community.

Illinois

David Gill

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Illinois – District 13)

David Gill ran for Congress in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District. In the March 20 Democratic primary Gill earned 14% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of five candidates. “As an Emergency Room doctor,” Gill stated, “I’ve demonstrated that I have tremendous passion for improving the lives of all people. That passion drives my career in medicine, and it’s what motivates me to become a leader in the U.S. House.” Gill’s experience in providing leadership and taking effective action in crisis situations will serve us well in dealing with the Trump Administration. Gill is a longtime member of Physicians for Reproductive Health, Physicians for a National Health Program, and several organizations that promote death with dignity legislation. He is a humanist and a passionate defender of the separation between church and state.

Mary Rita Luecke

Running for: Illinois State House (District 17)

Mary Rita Luecke ran for the Illinois General Assembly in District 17. In the March 20 Democratic primary Luecke earned 17% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of five candidates. 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 campaigned 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 ran for the Illinois General Assembly in District 101. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on March 20, and earned 30% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for the Illinois General Assembly in District 47. In the March 20 Democratic primary Sommerkamp earned 46% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. 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 ran for the Illinois State Senate in District 27. In the March 20 Democratic primary Sonnefeldt earned 25% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. 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 advocates 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.

Indiana

Dan Canon

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Indiana – District 9)

Dan Canon ran for Congress in Indiana’s 9th Congressional District. In the May 8 Democratic primary Canon earned 31% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of three candidates. He is a civil rights attorney, who has worked on behalf of teachers, union members, inmates, veterans, and immigrants. He was part of the team that successfully litigated for marriage equality in the historic Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges. Having spent his life “providing a voice to the voiceless” in the judicial system, he will be a voice for all in Congress – not just the select few. Canon identifies as agnostic.

Sue Errington

Running for: Indiana State House (District 34)

Sue Errington won re-election to the Indiana State House in District 34. She was unopposed in the May 8 Democratic primary and also in the general election. Elected to the House in 2012, she previously served on the Delaware County Council and the Indiana State Senate. Additionally, Errington taught Spanish at Ball State University and served 17 years as the Public Policy Director for Planned Parenthood of Indiana. She has sponsored and co-sponsored legislation to improve the public schools, assist sexual assault victims, legalize medical marijuana, protect the environment, and promote pay equity for women and minorities. She is the ranking minority member on the Environmental Affairs Committee and also serves on the Education, Natural Resources, and Statutory Committee on Ethics. Errington is a Unitarian Universalist and an ally of the secular community.

Ryan Farrar

Running for: Indiana State Senate (District 6)

Ryan Farrar ran for the Indiana State Senate in District 6. Farrar was unopposed in the May 8 Democratic primary, and earned 37% of the vote in the general election. 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.

Mike Hartley

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Indiana – District 5)

Mike Hartley ran for Congress in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District – he suspended his campaign in November 2017. He is an Army and Iraq War veteran. Having experienced poverty as a child, Hartley is committed to establishing programs and policies that create opportunities for economic security. This includes making health care a right under a Medicare for All program. Hartley does not have a religious affiliation. He says,”As an elected official, my religion will be the Constitution of the United States.”

Carolyn Jackson

Running for: Indiana State House (District 1)

Carolyn Jackson won election to the Indiana State House in District 1. Jackson was unopposed in the May 8 Democratic primary, and earned 86% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for the Indiana State House in District 91. Leineweber was unopposed in the May 8 Democratic primary, and earned 39% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for the Indiana State House in District 84. Nash was unopposed in the May 8 Democratic primary, and earned 37% of the vote in the general election. 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.

Justin Notoras

Running for: Indiana State House (District 25)

Justin Notoras ran for the Indiana State House in District 25. Notoras lost a very close Democratic primary election on May 8 earning 49% of the vote. His platform is “People Over Politics” – fighting for teachers, unions, civil rights, improved care for veterans, research into the benefits of medical cannabis, and changing public education so students can graduate with an associate’s degree eliminating the burden of student loans. Notoras identifies as a Deist. He is a 14 year veteran public school elementary teacher who left the profession recently because of his personal belief that the testing system is immoral and not best for students. Mr. Notoras Holds a Bachelor degree from Purdue University in education, a Master of Education, as well as a post graduate degree in leadership administration.

Nichole Thomas

Running for: Indiana State House (District 98)

Nichole Thomas ran for the Indiana State House in District 98. In the May 8 Democratic primary Thomas earned 13% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. 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.

Iowa

Jan Creasman

Running for: Iowa State House (District 17)

Jan Creasman ran for the Iowa State House in District 17. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 29% of the vote in the general election. This is her third campaign to unseat the Republican incumbent in this very red district. Creasman’s progressive platform includes investing more in public education to help transform lives and create capable adult citizens, opposing anti-union and right to work laws, expanding Medicaid and making health care a right not a privilege, protecting the environment, ending voter suppression and intimidation programs, and enacting common sense gun regulations. Creasman is Methodist.

Richard Foster

Running for: Iowa State House (District 27)

Richard Foster ran for the Iowa State House in District 27. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5, and earned 31% of the vote in the general election. A Navy veteran, former EMT, and “active voter tired of old school politics and politicians,” Foster is “ready to take responsibility for my community and my State by running for political office.” His issue priorities include, among others, affordable housing, combating Iowa’s opioid epidemic, transportation for rural schools, investment in rural telecommunication and internet services, expanding healthcare access, and workforce training programs. Foster is a theist and an ally of the secular community.

Paul Knupp, Jr.

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Iowa – District 3)

Paul Knupp Jr. ran for Congress in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District as a candidate of the Green Party. He earned 0.5% of the vote in the general election. He is the co-founder and past president of the Humanist Society of Iowa. Rev. Dr. Knupp is also a humanist chaplain for the American Humanist Association and an ordained clergy of the United Church of Christ. As a humanist chaplain, he provides his services at the Iowa State Penitentiary and the Ft. Dodge Correctional Facility. Trained in psychology, Knupp says his skills are required in Congress today because “America needs counseling.” Knupp identifies as a humanist.

Sara Ramsey

Running for: Iowa State Senate (District 11)

Sara Ramsey ran for the Iowa State Senate in District 11. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5, and earned 33% of the vote in the general election. Born and raised in Corning, Iowa, Ramsey is running as an “alternative for those who are unsatisfied with the Iowa Republican Party’s performance.” Her primary issue priority is improving and destigmatizing mental health care in the state. If elected, Ramsey will also advocate for raising the minimum wage, ensuring consumer protections, protecting reproductive rights, supporting LGBTQ issues, and enforcing environmental protection. Ramsey is not religious.

Kansas

John Hall

Running for: Kansas State House (District 59)

John Hall ran for the Kansas State House in District 59. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 24% of the vote in the general election. The first challenger to the Republican incumbent in the last two election cycles, Hall is running because he believes “the people of Kansas deserve a choice when they go to the polls.” A US Army veteran, Hall’s policy priorities focus on expanding Medicaid to eventually implement single-payer healthcare, supporting and treating veterans with respect, enacting sensible gun legislation, and protecting workers and small businesses. Hall is a humanist.

Jerry Hill

Running for: Kansas State House (District 120)

Jerry Hill ran for the Kansas State House in District 120. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 19% of the vote in the general election. With a platform of “common sense for common Kansans,” Hill’s issue priorities focus on reducing income disparity in the state, investing in public education, legalizing medical marijuana, a “people’s budget” of a progressive tax structure and increase in social services, and renewable energy for Kansas. Hill identifies as Protestant and is an ally of the secular community.

Cindy Holscher

Running for: Kansas State House (District 16)

Cindy Holscher won re-election to the Kansas State House in District 16. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 59% of the vote in the general election. Holscher decided to run for public office in 2016 to counter the disaster of the failed Brownback experiment of limited government and massive tax cuts when her daughter said, “You should go fix this.” Holscher’s policy priorities include ensuring public schools are fully funded and making college affordable, ending corporate tax loopholes and eliminating the regressive food sales tax, expanding Medicaid and improving funding for mental healthcare, eliminating secret corporate dark money in elections, and providing open and transparent processes for the legislature and government. Holscher is a Christian and ally of the secular community.

Toni Scalia

Running for: Kansas State House (District 52)

Toni Scalia ran for the Kansas State House in District 52. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 30% of the vote in the general election. Scalia is a retired professor of Sociology and a first time candidate. She is very frustrated by the lack of transparency in the Kansas legislature especially “gut and go” tactics used to hide legislation and to make it nearly impossible for the public to follow what is included in bills. Scalia will also advocate for more funding for public education, maintaining the integrity of science and church-state separation, and protecting the environment and women’s reproductive rights. Scalia has a Jewish and Catholic background, but now “I believe in humanity and I believe in the Constitution and in it’s implicit freedoms.”

Alex Van Dyke

Running for: Kansas State House (District 67)

Alex Van Dyke ran for the Kansas State House in District 67. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 37% of the vote in the general election. Van Dyke took on this challenge because “I can no longer sit quietly and watch as our current legislators work to move this state I love backward.” His legislative agenda includes fighting for equal pay for women, that high-income earners and corporations pay their fair share of taxes, reproductive rights, gun safety, LGBTQ+ rights, and church-state separation. Van Dyke was raised a Christian but is now an atheist.

Stephen Wyatt

Running for: Kansas State House (District 19)

Stephen Wyatt ran for the Kansas State House in District 19. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 41% of the vote in the general election. With a career in the healthcare industry, Wyatt is a strong advocate for the expansion of Medicaid. His policy agenda also includes increased funding for public schools, common sense gun control, equality for the LGBTQ community, and the maintenance of church-state separation. Wyatt is an atheist.

Kentucky

Jarrett Cox

Running for: Kentucky State House (District 21)

Jarrett Cox ran for the Kentucky State House in District 21. Cox was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 29% in the general election. 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.”

Roberto Henriquez

Running for: Kentucky State House (District 66)

Roberto Henriquez ran for the Kentucky State House in District 66. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 27% in the general election. Roberto has an extensive career in Information Technology and is a former teacher. He is active in his community participating in theater productions, organizing benefit concerts for disaster relief, and judging with Odyssey of the Mind at the local, state,and national level. Roberto has volunteered with the American Red Cross Disaster Response Team to assist with recovery efforts following tornadoes and fires. He is active in Indivisible Northern KY District 4 (Leadership Team), Tri-State Freethinkers, and other progressive groups. His campaign is dedicated to strengthening the economy, supporting public education, protecting the environment, expanding access to health care, and improving the state’s infrastructure. Roberto identifies as an agnostic atheist.

Debra Ferguson Payne

Running for: Kentucky State House (District 86)

Debra Ferguson Payne ran for the Kentucky State House in District 86. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 22, and earned 21% in the general election. With a 30-year career in teaching, her highest priority is improving education – “Ensuring a quality cradle-to-career education is vital to the well-being of every one of us.” She is also committed to increasing affordable housing, making healthcare a right for all people, and protecting the environment. She says, “I firmly believe an educated, skilled, well-nourished and healthy population will create the most economically and environmentally sound, prosperous and sustainable nation on this planet, and I want to help shape policies that bring that belief to life.” With adult atheist children, Payne is a Christian and an ally to the secular community.

Paul Walker

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Kentucky – District 1)

Paul Walker ran for Congress in Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District. He won a contested Democratic primary on May 22 with 75% of the vote, and earned 31% of the vote in the general election. He ran because he believes “working Kentuckians have been abandoned by our leaders.” He says “every person deserves fair wages, financial security, and affordable access to education and healthcare.” His issue priorities focussed on protecting Social Security and expanding healthcare, investing in affordable higher education and vocational training, protecting labor unions, safeguarding agriculture and the environment, fighting for women’s rights, supporting veterans, legalizing medical cannabis use, and ensuring equality for everyone. Walker is a humanist.

Louisiana

Rob Anderson

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Louisiana – 3)

Rob Anderson ran for Congress against Clay Higgins in Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District. He earned 5.5% of the vote in the open general election – finishing 4th in a field of seven candidates. Raised by a career military father who developed his love of country, work ethic, and dedication to purpose, he knows what it’s like to sweat and work hard to feed his family. Anderson is running “because he is tired of special interest groups dictating government policy.” His policy priorities focus on supporting unions and workers; restoring our nation’s middle class; protecting women’s health and bodily autonomy by ensuring paid maternity leave, child care, and access to reproductive healthcare; campaign finance reform and keeping foreign money out of U.S. elections; prison reform and abolishing private prisons; protecting net neutrality; ensuring Medicare for all; rebuilding Louisiana’s infrastructure; and legalizing marijuana. Anderson is spiritual but not religious and aims to employ logical, science supported solutions to resolve our nation’s myriad of problems. Rob is a Democrat, but he has pledged to always put the people’s needs before that of any political party.

Jim Francis

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Louisiana – 1)

Jim Francis ran for Congress in Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District. He earned 3% of the vote in the open general election – finishing 4th in a field of six candidates. Growing up in a middle class family and watching his father advocate for public education as a member of the school board, he decided to run for office to help protect America’s children after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. As he says “it is time to put real people back in Congress.” Francis’s policy priorities focus on affordable healthcare, expansion of Medicaid and Medicare, protecting Social Security, establishing a living wage, and strengthening workers’ and unions’ rights. Francis was raised Catholic and sends his kids to Catholic school, “but free thought and debate is always encouraged at home.”

Maine

Pinny Beebe-Center

Running for: Maine State House (District 93)

Pinny Beebe-Center won re-election to Maine’s State House in the 93rd Legislative District, earning 62% of the vote in the general election. 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.”

Kellie Julia

Running for: Maine State Senate (District 15)

Kellie Julia ran for the Maine State Senate in District 15. She won the Democratic primary with 52% of the vote, and earned 43% of the vote in the general election. A former teacher and small business owner, Julia says her decision “to run for Senate came as a bit of a surprise to most who know me, being a very ‘non-politician’ type person. But I feel it is time for real, honest, open minded, everyday people to step up and do what is in the interests of the majority of us all and not just for those few who hold a majority when it comes to money.” Her policy agenda includes investing in our public schools and teachers, protecting the environment and promoting green energy, providing services to care for our senior citizens, and implementing a fair tax system. Julia was raised Catholic but does not participate in organized religion at this time. She feels that all people should feel safe to practice their own beliefs and never shamed or berated when it comes to individual spirituality.

Maryland

Esam Al-Shareffi

Running for: Maryland State House (District 17)

Esam Al-Shareffi ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 17. In the June 26 Democratic primary he earned 5% of the vote – finishing 6th in a field of six candidates. He is a physician-scientist who earned a PhD in Biochemistry as well as a MD at Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY. Al-Shareffi, or Dr. Al to his friends and colleagues, is committed to increasing the minimum wage, establishing a single-payer healthcare system (“Medicare-for-All”), promoting alternative energy resources, and removing speed cameras, which primary benefit the private speed camera vendors. He is also a strong supporter of church-state separation. Al-Shareffi is Muslim and an ally of the secular community.

Gabriel Auteri

Running for: Maryland State House (District 40)

Gabriel Auteri ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 40. In the June 26 Democratic primary he earned 9.5% of the vote – finishing 5th in a field of thirteen candidates. As a former high school history teacher, Auteri is eager to address the crisis in the public schools by fighting for equity in school funding so that every student will have great teachers and a strong education. Serving in the Baltimore City Health Department, Auteri is very knowledgeable about health care and is committed to obtaining the resources needed to ensure access to care and fight health disparities. To address poverty, Auteri is committed to criminal justice reform, making homeownership affordable for all, and empowering neighborhoods with decision-making mechanisms including community grants. Auteri identifies as a humanist.

Dana Beyer

Running for: Maryland State Senate (District 18)

Dana Beyer ran for the Maryland State Senate in District 18. In the June 26 Democratic primary she earned 37% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of three candidates. Dr. Beyer is a physician and surgeon, who is also a women’s rights and LGBTQ civil rights leader. She is Vice Chair of the Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland and inductee into the Montgomery County Hall of Fame. Her policy goals include increasing the minimum wage, improving transportation infrastructure, addressing climate change, and reclaiming the American moral values of “life, liberty, freedom, equality, opportunity, patriotism, family values” that have been distorted by the Republicans. Beyer is Jewish and an ally of the secular community.

Jordan Cooper

Running for: Maryland State House (District 16)

Jordan Cooper ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 16. In the June 26 Democratic primary Cooper earned 6.5% of the vote – finishing 5th in a field of eight candidates. He has extensive volunteer and work experience with various public institutions in Maryland. He is a health policy professional with experience working in the Maryland House of Delegates, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, and DC Medicaid. He has served on the county budget board, the water and sewer board, a commercial real estate board, as the president of his neighborhood association, and on numerous democratic club boards. Cooper knows how the state capital works, who to talk to in order to can get things done, and what measures are needed to ensure success. His campaign was focused on creating affordable healthcare by establishing universal access to a public option for basic health insurance coverage and reducing public school class overcrowding by finding resources to hire more teachers. Cooper identifies as a Jewish atheist.

Harry Freeman

Running for: Maryland State House (District 31B)

Harry Freeman ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 31B. In the June 26 Democratic primary he earned 48% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates – advancing to the general election in this multi-candidate district. Freeman earned 15% of the vote in the general election. He is a veteran who is “fighting against the political establishment that wants to continue to provide to the few and burden the many.” Freeman is committed to revising the school funding system that disadvantages schools – and students – in poor neighborhoods, establishing an affordable universal healthcare system, promoting alternative energy sources to address climate change, reforming the criminal justice system to eliminate structural and institutional racism, and enacting 12-weeks of paid family leave for new parents. Freeman was raised Jewish, but is now secular.

Michael David Gross

Running for: Maryland State House (District 9A)

Michael David Gross ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 9A. In the June 26 Democratic primary he earned 18% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of three candidates. Gross says, “There needs to be a revolution in the way we see people that are different from ourselves” and this revolution needs to be reflected in our government to ensure that we “properly take care of our teachers, our veterans, our sick, our poor – everyone who needs us.” His policy agenda includes improving our education system, providing economic stability, protecting our environment, promoting clean energy, making law enforcement officers accountable for their actions, ensuring access to both mental and physical healthcare, reforming the immigration process, and establishing an unbiased justice system that strives for restoration and rehabilitation over retribution. Gross is agnostic.

James Howard

Running for: Maryland State House (District 12)

James Howard ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 12. In the June 26 Democratic primary he earned 4% of the vote – finishing 6th in a field of eight candidates. With two young children, Howard is concerned about the future and ran for public office to help build a safe and sustainable community. He wants to attract “diverse and exceptional businesses to give us the jobs we need to weather uncertain economic times,” mitigate and work to reverse the effects of climate change, improve the region’s infrastructure including mass transit, implement meaningful and effective gun control, ensure that our schools are conducive to learning, and make our election system and voting machines secure. Howard is an atheist.

Derek Kent

Running for: Maryland State House (District 32)

Derek Kent ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 32. In the June 26 Democratic primary Cooper earned 8% of the vote – finishing 7th in a field of seven candidates. This was 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.

Marc Korman

Running for: Maryland State House (District 16)

Marc Korman won re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates in District 16. In the June 26 Democratic primary he earned 24% of the vote – finishing 1st in a field of eight candidates, and he earned 30% of the vote in the general election. Korman believes that the keys to his district’s economic success are “maintaining great schools and improving the transportation network.” Improving both will ensure continued economic growth that in turn “will also allow us to make the investments we need in schools, infrastructure, the environment, and to assist those less fortunate.” With regard to the environment, Korman is proud of his 100% voting record from the League of Conservation Voters, which reflects his stance that the need to “protect our environment and find sustainable sources of energy are among the most important issues facing Marylanders in the coming years.” Korman is Jewish and an ally of the secular community.

Sara Love

Running for: Maryland State House (District 16)

Sara Love won election to the Maryland House of Delegates in District 16. In June 26 Democratic primary Love won the third slot in this multi-candidate district, and in the general election she earned 29% of the vote. Love is a lawyer and a social-justice advocate who has served as General Council and Legal Director of NARAL Pro-Choice America and as the Public Policy Director of the ACLU of Maryland. She has spent her career working to “make the world a better place.” For the House her policy agenda focuses on public education, protecting the environment and safeguarding our civil rights and civil liberties. Love is a Christian and ally of the secular community.

Tommi Makila

Running for: Maryland State Senate (District 27)

Tommi Makila ran for the Maryland State Senate in District 27. In the June 26 Democratic primary he earned 28% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. Makila is an advocate against the “political machine” in Maryland and is a community activist with organizations including the Preserve at Piscataway Homeowners Association, Prince George’s County PTA Council, Maryland PTA, Prince George’s County Advocates for Better Schools, and Alliance for Nonpartisan School Board Elections. Makila’s policy priorities include fostering competitive elections, ending gerrymandering, improving public education, strengthening the economy, reforming the criminal justice system, enacting universal health coverage, and encouraging energy innovation and addressing climate change. Makila is agnostic.

David Moon

Running for: Maryland State House (District 20)

David Moon won re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates in District 20. He was unopposed in the general election. Moon is a progressive legislator who is advancing legislation to tackle income inequality, address climate change, make higher education affordable, expand gun safety regulations, improve public transit, end the failed drug war, and enhance voter participation. This year he helped pass legislation in the House of Delegates that guarantees paid sick days for workers at Maryland businesses with 15 or more employees, allows courts to terminate the parental rights of rapists over children conceived from the sex assault, and removes gun ownership rights from those convicted of domestic abuse. Moon identifies as nonreligious.

Daniel Nemec

Running for: Maryland State House (District 42B)

Daniel Nemec ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 42B. In the June 26 Democratic primary he earned 23% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of three candidates. Daniel is a CPA who has spent his career helping businesses manage their finances and ​analyze their legal contracts​. He wanted to bring those skills to the state’s legislature. ​His ​policy priorities are to​ strengthen public schools, protect the environment, ​​establish a single-payer healthcare system, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expand union coverage,​ and​ promote business growth. Daniel was raised Catholic, but describes himself as a nonbeliever.

Julia Nichols

Running for: Maryland State House (District 29C)

Julia Nichols ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 29C. She was unopposed in the June 26 Democratic primary, and earned 42% of the vote in the general election. Nichols has a long-standing record of contributions to improve her community – from founding the Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra and Choir to opening the successful Chesapeake Public Charter School – which demonstrates her ability to build bridges, bring people together, and get things done. Her campaign is focused on increasing educational opportunities, repairing and replacing neglected transportation infrastructure, attracting new industry and fostering small businesses, increasing affordable housing, protecting the environment, and addressing the opioid crisis. Nichols is a humanist.

Dan O’Hare

Running for: Maryland State House (District 37B)

Dan O’Hare ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 37B. He was unopposed in the June 26 Democratic primary, and earned 22% of the vote in the general election. O’Hare believes that “if any society thinks it’s so great then it better be able to feed, house, and provide the best possible medicine for everyone.” O’Hare says “investing in the future requires investing in the education of all people, and that saddling people with debt is inhumane.” He thinks “sex education should be early and often, free contraceptives should be available to whomever asks, and that neither the government nor employers should get in between a person and their doctor.” In his free time Dan is “a gardener, responsible whiskey philosopher, bad poet, inferior fisherman, reader of books, believer in science, and inventor of religions.”

Shane Pendergrass

Running for: Maryland State House (District 13)

Shane Pendergrass won re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates in District 13. In the June 26 Democratic primary she earned 30% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of four candidates – advancing to the general election in this multi-candidate district. In the general election she earned 29% of the vote. Pendergrass is a progressive legislator who has served in the House of Delegates for 23 years. She has been the primary sponsor of Death with Dignity legislation in the last three sessions. Although not yet successful, Pendergrass is optimistic that the legislation will ultimately be enacted. Pendergrass was also instrumental in changing the opening prayer policy in the House. She would lift the lid of her desk and let it slam shut when invited pastors delivered prayers that made members and citizens feel excluded. Although the opening prayers still exist they are now offered by the members themselves and tend to be more inclusive. Pendergrass is Jewish and an ally of the secular community.

Jamie Raskin

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Maryland 8)

Jamie Raskin won re-election to Congress in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, earning 67% of the vote in the general election. As the Vice-Ranking Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Committee on House Administration, he has championed legislation increasing governmental transparency and accountability and campaign finance reform. He is also the sponsor of H.Res.349, which calls for the global repeal of blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy laws. If re-elected, Raskin will use his experience in Congress as well as his previous experience as a Maryland State Senator and professor of constitutional law to fight climate change, implement a carbon tax, and invest in renewable energy; pass a comprehensive gun safety law; increase the minimum wage to a living wage and invest in infrastructure; protect women’s health choices; increase voting rights and reverse Citizens United; protect public health through expanding Medicare, championing single-payer healthcare, and protecting Social Security; comprehensive immigration reform; funding public education and making higher education affordable; providing opportunities for veterans; supporting nuclear non-proliferation; defending labor movement; and safeguarding marriage equality across the country. Raskin identifies as Jewish and as a humanist. He is a founding member and Co-Chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus.

Ryan Trout

Running for: Maryland State House (District 3A)

Ryan Trout ran for the Maryland State House in District 3A. In the June 26 Democratic primary Trout earned 17% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of three candidates. He is a father of two, a homeowner, and a community advocate. His community involvement includes serving as chairman of Frederick County’s Affordable Housing Council, board member of the United Way of Frederick County, and staff member of the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick. He also served as the chief of staff for Maryland State Senator Ron Young. Trout is committed to helping working families obtain access to housing, employment, affordable food, healthcare, and a quality education. Trout is an atheist.

Massachusetts

Emily Farrer

Running for: Massachusetts State House (Bristol District 3)

Emily Farrer ran for the Massachusetts State House in the 3rd Bristol District. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 4, and earned 38% of the vote in the general election. Proud to call Taunton home, Farrer “knows the struggle of working families and wants to be your voice on Beacon Hill.” She says, “I’m running to be State Representative of the Bristol Third district because I think that right now, we need to start saying yes if we’re going to find the answers and the change we’re looking for.” Farrer’s issue priorities focus on increasing access to public transportation, implementing a thriving wage, using a holistic, science-based approach to ending the opioid crisis, supporting small business growth, and advocating for sustainable clean energy practices. Farrer identifies as agnostic.

Jim Hawkins

Running for: Massachusetts State House (Bristol District 2)

Jim Hawkins won re-election to the Massachusetts State House in the 2nd Bristol District. He won the Democratic primary on September 4 with 75% of the vote, and the general election with 58th of the vote. In the State House, he has been an “eager and supportive advocate for local businesses and has earned a glowing reputation as a steadfast and effectual champion for public education.” Hawkins sits on the Joint Committees on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy; Development and Small Businesses; and Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. When re-elected, he will continue to advance economic justice for working people, veterans, entrepreneurs, and the retired; support public education and small businesses; and advocate for legislation that improves services for substance abuse and addiction. Hawkins is religiously unaffiliated.

Sabrina Heisey

Running for: Massachusetts State House (Middlesex District 36)

Sabrina Heisey ran for the Massachusetts State House in the 36th Middlesex District. In the September 4 Democratic primary Heisey earned 27% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. The third of four children and the mother of six, she “learned young the importance of cooperation, hard work, and the value of community.” With her passion for community engagement, Heisey’s issue priorities include strengthening financial transparency, funding high-quality public education for all, supporting campaign finance reform, respecting equal human rights for all Americans, creating a single-payer, comprehensive healthcare system, and automatic voter registration. Heisey believes religious affiliation or non-religious affiliation should not be factors in public service.

Barbara L’Italien

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Massachusetts-3)

Barbara L’Italien ran for Congress in Massachusetts’ 3rd Congressional District. In the September 4 Democratic primary L’Italien earned 15% of the vote – finishing 4th in a field of ten candidates. With her experience as a state senator, a state representative, a school committee member, an elder care social worker, and “a mom on a mission to provide a better life for all,” L’Italien has successfully built the nation’s strongest safety net for people with autism. She wants to take her “experience and success in Massachusetts to Washington to make sure we have a system that works for all of us, and especially those who need extra support to thrive.” L’Italien will fight for her constituents and the issues she cares about just as hard as she did for her own family, focusing on single-payer health care, strengthening public education, dignity for seniors, disrupting the opioid epidemic, protecting the environment and powering a clean energy economy, enacting common sense gun control, defending immigrants and reproductive rights, respecting veterans, creating affordable housing, and getting big money out of politics. She was a member of a Catholic church until in her first term as a state representative she was forced out due to her leadership role in defending marriage equality, and is now non-practicing.

Tram Nguyen

Running for: Massachusetts State House (Essex District 18)

Tram Nguyen won election to the Massachusetts State House in the 18th Essex District, which includes parts of Andover, Boxford, North Andover, and Tewksbury, with 55% of the vote in the general election. She challenged a Republican incumbent who brought a nativity to the state house. Nguyen’s policy priorities focus on common sense gun safety, reproductive rights, a strategy to defeat the opioid crisis, environmental protection, affordable and accessible healthcare and housing, and support for small businesses. As an immigrant and legal aid attorney who serves the most vulnerable people in Massachusetts, she “has first-hand knowledge of the struggles working families face and will fight to ensure all workers make a living wage, have adequate job protection, and can battle wage theft and exploitation.” Nguyen identifies as Buddhist and is spiritual but not religious.

Darryn Remillard

Running for: Massachusetts State House (Middlesex District 30)

Darryn Remillard ran for the Massachusetts State House in the 30th Middlesex District. In the September 4 Democratic primary Remillard earned 9% of the vote – finishing 4th in a field of four candidates. Darryn is a husband, father, veteran, and a veterinarian. A product of the foster care system, he wants to ensure that children are “given the chance to achieve the potential that every child is capable of realizing with love, support and resources.” Darryn will fight for the opportunities with which the military provided him: guaranteed healthcare for all, accessible and highly subsidized childcare, job security with consistent pay raises, and fully subsidized education for all his constituents. His policy priorities also include automatic voter registration and ranked-choice voting; investment in public transportation, public green spaces, and renewable energy; equal pay for equal work; paid family and medical leave; a $15/hour minimum wage; and addressing the opioid epidemic. Remillard is an atheist.

Michigan

Joey Andrews

Running for: Michigan State House (District 79)

Joey Andrews ran for the Michigan State House in District 79. He won the contested Democratic primary with 57% of the vote, and earned 44% of the vote in the general election. Living in an area that has not recovered from the 2008 recession, Andrews is “invested in meeting the day to day needs of the working families, fighting with us for dignity, freedom and system that is fair and just for all of us, not just the wealthy and powerful.” He is also “passionate about making Michigan the clean energy capital of the Midwest, creating long lasting and good paying jobs while protecting the environment and saving the community money.” In addition he will advocate for improved funding of public schools and tuition-free community college, bringing universal health care to Michigan, and opposing anti-union right to work legislation. Andrews was raised Catholic and is now religiously unaffiliated.

David Benac

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Michigan – District 6)

David Benac ran for Congress in Michigan’s 6th Congressional District. In the Ausust 7 Democratic primary Benac earned 21% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of four candidates. Dr. Benac is a history professor and political activist. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention and served on the Platform Committee, where he spoke out in favor of striking the numerous religious references offered for inclusion in the party’s platform. Benac believes firmly in the wall of separation between church and state that is enshrined in the First Amendment. This protects all Americans from religious intolerance and theocracy. He is running for Congress because he “doesn’t believe the Federal Government is working in the best interests of the American people, and we face too many serious challenges today to let this continue.” Benac was raised Catholic, but is now religiously unaffiliated.

Andrea Geralds

Running for: Michigan State House (District 33)

Andrea Geralds ran for the Michigan State House in District 33. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 35% of the vote in the general election. A small business owner, mother, wife, and community volunteer, Geralds is running to increase funding for public schools. Her issue priorities also include promoting honesty and transparency in government, modernizing Michigan’s infrastructure, gun control reform and school safety, legalizing marijuana, investing in renewable energy, supporting workers’ rights, and protecting civil rights for all. Geralds identifies as Buddhist.

Christopher Giles

Running for: Michigan State House (District 82)

Christopher Giles ran for the Michigan State House in District 82. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 30% of the vote in the general election. He says, “Our state has been left in shambles due to years of mismanagement and ineffectiveness, and I am determined to make my way to Lansing and help shift us back in the right direction.” His policy agenda is focused on improving the public education system, repealing “right to work” legislation, opposing attempts to weaken or cut Medicare/Medicaid coverage and the Affordable Care Act, increasing the transparency of legislative actions, and ending partisan gerrymandering and attempts at voter suppression. Giles is an agnostic atheist.

Jim Haadsma

Running for: Michigan State House (District 62)

Jim Haadsma won election to the Michigan State House in District 62. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 52% of the vote in the general election. A Michigan native, lawyer, county commissioner, and father, Haadsma is running because he wants “to make sure people in my community all get a fair shot at success for themselves and their families.” As he specializes in labor relations and workers compensation as a lawyer, his issue priorities focus on making sure Michigan is the place for twenty-first century jobs, supplying education for the future and for all ages, investing in roads and bridges, protecting the water supply of the Great Lakes, and making sure all families have equal access to opportunity and justice under the law. Haadsma is Christian and a strong ally of the secular community.

Dan Kildee

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Michigan 5)

Dan Kildee won re-election to Congress in Michigan’s 5th Congressional District. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 60% of the vote in the general election. First elected in 2012, Kildee serves as the Vice Ranking Member of the House Financial Services committee and has championed bills to aid Flint families in the wake of the water crisis, revitalize Michigan’s manufacturing sector as the Vice Co-Chair of the Automotive Caucus, free a Marine veteran from prison in Iran, and protect the Great Lakes from nuclear waste. As County Treasurer, he created the Genesee County Land Bank, the first of its kind in America. A lifelong Michigander born and raised in Flint, if re-elected Kildee will continue to fight for quality public education and childcare, Michigan’s environment and the Great Lakes, increasing access to affordable healthcare, supporting manufacturing in Michigan, and strengthening mid-Michigan communities. Kildee is Catholic and a strong ally of the secular community.

Jason Noble

Running for: Michigan State Senate (District 19)

Jason Noble ran for the Michigan State Senate in District 19. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 39% of the vote in the general election. Born into a working class family and having spent most of his life teaching and serving people in various ways, Noble is “committed to learning, discussion and finding solutions to our problems.” His policy priorities focus on creating a living wage and strengthening unions, funding infrastructure improvements and rebuilding roads, creating an independent committee to control redistricting, keeping money out of politics, funding public schools, expanding healthcare, reforming the criminal justice system, passing common sense gun laws, promoting governmental transparency, and protecting civil rights for all. Noble identifies as Christian and is an ally of the secular community.

Amber Pedersen

Running for: Michigan State House (District 57)

Amber Pedersen ran for the Michigan State House in District 57. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 37% of the vote in the general election. Pedersen has 15-years of experience as a teacher in the Michigan schools and has seen first-hand the detrimental effects of conservative public policies on education. She will restore funding for public education, rebuild and repair Michigan’s infrastructure, increase worker protections and wages, implement better voting practices to increase participation rates, encourage clean energy and protect our environment, and ensure that Michigan is a welcoming and inclusive community for everyone. Raised by a Pagan mother and Episcopalian father, Pedersen keeps her own religious views private.

Ken Summers

Running for: Michigan State House (District 110)

Ken Summers ran for the Michigan State House in District 110. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 49% of the vote in the general election. Born and raised in L’Anse, Michigan, Summers is running because “there is still work to be done and the time to serve his community further as State Representative is now.” His policy priorities include prioritizing funding public, higher, and technical education and job training, promoting infrastructure growth and high-speed broadband internet service, lowering energy costs, and improving healthcare and tackling opiate abuse.

Ernie Whiteside

Running for: Michigan State House (District 56)

Ernie Whiteside ran for the Michigan State House in District 56. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 38% of the vote in the general election. An Air Force veteran who has long been active in local Michigan politics, Whiteside is running a grassroots campaign that is worker-friendly and focuses on the issues. Active in Michigan Atheists and the Secular Coalition of Michigan, his policy priorities focus on funding for quality public education and debt-free college, increasing voting access, investing in clean energy, expanding Michicare and healthcare for all, promoting internet access, legalizing and taxing marijuana, shifting the tax burden off working families, and increasing the minimum wage and protecting workers’ rights. Whiteside identifies as an atheist and secular humanist.

Minnesota

Renée Cardarelle

Running for: Minnesota State House (District 29A)

Renée Cardarelle ran for the Minnesota State House in District 29A. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 32% of the vote in the general election. For the past twenty years, Cardarelle has worked with others to build stronger communities through her non-profit and volunteer work. Her policy agenda includes developing multiple career path options in our public education system, expanding healthcare coverage with programs such as Medicare for All or MinnesotaCare for All, passing the Equal Rights Amendment for the U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions, and ensuring equal rights for all. Cardarelle is religiously unaffiliated.

Lori Ann Clark

Running for: Minnesota State House (District 21A)

Lori Ann Clark ran for the Minnesota State House in District 21A. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14, and earned 43% of the vote in the general election. Clark’s campaign is fighting for the middle class to ensure that the state government works “to introduce and implement effective solutions that maintain the quality of life we know and expect.” Her policy goals are to support economic and business development, family farmers, public education, affordable healthcare, rural broadband initiatives, gun safety, and renewable energy and clean transportation options. Clark is an atheist.

Heidi Everett

Running for: Minnesota State House (District 13B)

Heidi Everett ran for the Minnesota State House in District 13B. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 36% of the vote in the general election. Everett’s campaign is committed to being a model of Minnesota’s value of civility. She is dedicated to “ensuring access to an exceptional education for everyone, fighting for increased wages and opportunities for skilled work, and fostering healthy communities.” Her policy agenda also includes establishing a single-payer health care system, protecting the environment, defending women’s reproductive rights, increasing access to high-speed internet, and legalizing recreational marijuana use. Everett is agnostic.

Alex Hering

Running for: Minnesota State House (District 9A)

Alex Hering ran for the Minnesota State House in District 9A. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 31% of the vote in the general election. Hering is “frustrated by how the majority of politicians claim to know what is best for Minnesotans, and when you look at how they vote, it only helps special interests, corporations and big money.” He will promote programs that make healthcare, education, and housing affordable in Minnesota. In addition he will advocate for upgrading the state’s infrastructure, protecting the environment, and maintaining the separation of church and state. Hering is a strong ally of the nontheist community.

Justin Vold

Running for: Minnesota State House (District 18A)

Justin Vold ran for the Minnesota State House in District 18A. He won the Democratic primary with 63% of the vote, and earned 25% of the vote in the general election. Having experienced first-hand debilitating health issues, Vold is a strong advocate for affordable health care. He says, “No one should ever have to choose whether or not they can afford to go to the doctor. No one should ever have to choose whether they can get the medicine they need.” His policy agenda also includes expanding educational opportunties with affordable trade and college options, protecting our environment, increasing access to high speed internet in rural communities, legalizing marijuana, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and creating more employment opportunities for the disabled. Vold is spiritual but not religious.

Mississippi

Carlton E. Smith

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Mississippi – District 1)

Carlton E. Smith ran for Congress in Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District – he suspended his campaign in March 2018 and endorsed his Democratic opponent, Randy Wadkins. Smith is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and was on-leave from his regular occupation as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Southern Region Staff. His policy goals include putting the needs of the people first, protecting the social safety net, and restoring the balance of power between citizens and corporations. Smith identifies as a humanist and as a Universalist Christian who draws inspiration from the life and teachings of Jesus. He is deeply committed to protecting the freedoms of all people, regardless of ethnicity, gender identity, economic status, nation of origin, ability, sexual orientation or religious belief.

Missouri

Deb Lavender

Running for: Missouri State House (District 90)

Deb Lavender won re-election to the Missouri State House in District 90. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14 and the general election. Lavender is a businesswoman, an active leader, and enthusiastic volunteer in community service and community improvement endeavors. Her policy agenda includes rewarding job creation, ensuring affordable health care, preserving the environment, protecting seniors, expanding early childhood learning, preserving veterans’ benefits, and protecting women’s and voter rights. Lavender is an ally of the secular community.

Elizabeth Lundstrum

Running for: Missouri State House (District 161)

Elizabeth Lundstrum ran for the Missouri State House in District 161. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 33% of the vote in the general election. Lundstrum has been a teacher for 26 years and will use her experience in education to help pass full funding of Missouri’s public education system and strengthen the state’s dedication to quality public education. In addition she will fight for affordable healthcare, worker’s rights, environmental protections, LGBTQ rights, and maintaining the separation of church and state. Lunstrum is religiously unaffiliated.

Vincent Lutterbie

Running for: Missouri State House (District 51)

Vincent Lutterbie ran for the Missouri State House in District 51. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 33% of the vote in the general election. As a retired dentist and a member of the state’s Department of Mental Health for 26 years, Lutterbie is passionate about improving healthcare for his constituents. His other policy priorities include supporting local agribusiness, improving infrastructure to promote economic growth, opposing anti-union right-to-work legislation, and putting more major policy decisions directly to the people through initiative votes. Lutterbie identifies as a Protestant.

Dennis McDonald

Running for: Missouri State House (District 114)

Dennis McDonald ran for the Missouri State House in District 114. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 32% of the vote in the general election. The first challenger to the Republican incumbent in the last two election cycles, McDonald is running because “It’s time to send people to Jefferson City that will fight for progressive values and put the interest of the people over those of the donors.” Born and raised in Jefferson County in a working-class home in Hillsboro, Missouri, his accomplishments include pursuing his dream of attending college after the birth of his first child and supporting Darwin Day during his time at college. The issues in this campaign are personal for Dennis because “like many working people in Missouri, he does not have health insurance, his co-workers are not getting a living wage, and he sees the impact of budget cuts for higher education for both students and instructors,” McDonald’s policy priorities include supporting workers’ rights, protecting schools from more budget cuts, expanding healthcare access, fighting back against special interests that only protect the wealthy few, and protecting the rights of all citizens to be free from discrimination and live with dignity. Dennis is an historian and recognizes the important of keeping church and state separate. Dennis identifies religiously as a “none.”

Carolyn McGowan

Running for: Missouri State Senate (District 32)

Carolyn McGowan ran for the Missouri State Senate in District 32. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 23% of the vote in the general election. As an educator and artist, McGowan’s interests have always been in public service and the performing arts. Her policy agenda includes establishing universal healthcare, protecting unions and worker’s rights, increasing the minimum wage, implementing common sense gun control, legalizing medical marijuana, protecting the separation of church and state, and continuing the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment. McGowan is a Unitarian ally of the nontheist community.

Derrick Nowlin

Running for: Missouri State House (District 134)

Derrick Nowlin ran for the Missouri State House in District 134. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 43% of the vote in the general election. Nowlin became politically active because of the Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, serving as both a state and national delegate. He says, “I believe that each generation is obliged to leave things a little better than we found them for those who will come after us. If we want to be able to keep that promise for future generations of Missourians, we need to make sure our state government is made up of people who share those values and live them each and every day.” His policy priorities include getting big money out of politics so elected officials represent the people – not special interests and dark money mega-donors and expanding Medicaid to create a universal healthcare system for everyone. Nowlin identifies as agnostic.

Phoebe Ottomeyer

Running for: Missouri State House (District 111)

Phoebe Ottomeyer ran for the Missouri State House in District 111. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 35% of the vote in the general election. A 28-year resident of Jefferson County, Ottomeyer wants to bring her experience working in state government as a State Probation and Parole Officer and her “awareness of problems in our community, with state and local resources, and the operations of state government” to represent the 111th District in the House. Her policy priorities focus on funding for heroin addiction treatment and Medicaid expansion, strengthening unions, and making government fiscally and ethically accountable. Raised Catholic, Ottomeyer is now religiously unaffiliated.

Cindy Slimp

Running for: Missouri State House (District 133)

Cindy Slimp ran for the Missouri State House in District 133. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14, and earned 36% of the vote in the general election. Slimp says, “For too long our representatives have ignored our needs of people and voted with their party.” Cindy is not accepting Corporate PAC money to ensure a clean campaign and representation of the people. Her legislative agenda includes: expanding access to all forms of healthcare and supports single payer, ensuring that public schools are truly fully funded and that teachers see an increase in salary, a living wage for working people and families and supporting workers unions, equality for all. LGBTQ community, women, immigrants and all other marginalized groups including low income families, support women’s body integrity, safety in gun ownership and quality background checks to keep people safe, and proactive environmentally friendly state. Cindy does not identify with a religion and respects all non-religious and religious views. She believes that a legislator’s personal relationship with God should have no element in government, that legislators should be working for people and following our Constitution.

Geneviève Steidtmann

Running for: Missouri State House (District 101)

Geneviève Steidtmann ran for the Missouri State House in District 101. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 35% of the vote in the general election. Steidtmann’s professional background is in business as an independent consultant working with organizations from non-profits to Fortune 50 corporations. She also runs the largest LGBTQ scholarship organization in Missouri. As a business owner, a parent, and an involved citizen, she wants to see the state legislature serve the people of Missouri, not special interests. The state motto of Missouri—“May the welfare of the people be the supreme law”—drives her campaign priorities: healthcare, education, jobs, civil rights, and environmental protections. As a legislator, she will fight to expand Medicaid, fully fund public schools, raise the minimum wage, protect women’s health, expand sunshine laws, implement non-discrimination protections, and promote science-based decision making. Steidtmann holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Northwestern University and identifies as an atheist.

Crystal Stephens

Running for: Missouri State Senate (District 18)

Crystal Stephens ran for the Missouri State Senate in District 18. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 30% of the vote in the general election. Stephens wants “to see Missouri once again aspire to do great things.” Her policy agenda includes providing healthcare for everyone and saving rural hospitals, building safe roads and bridges, clean, safe water, creating good paying Union jobs, improving the education system, saving family farms, protecting our natural resources, expanding the use of renewable energy, stopping ALEC from writing our laws, and keeping dark money out of Missouri politics. When asked about her religion, Stephens says, “I’m running for state senate, not state pastor.”

Sarah Unsicker

Running for: Missouri State House (District 91)

Sarah Unsicker won re-election to the Missouri State House in District 91. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 66% of the vote in the general election. A practitioner of family and education law, Unsicker is an active community volunteer and is running because she wants to “make Missouri a better place for children and families” and “help people who are disenfranchised by current systems.” In the legislature, she sits on the Fiscal Review, Insurance Policy, Children and Families, and Rules Committees and the Special Committee on Innovation and Technology and has championed legislation to reform the criminal justice system in the state, support people with disabilities, improve maternal health, and increase voting access. She will continue to fight for a strong public education system, expanding access to quality healthcare, ethics and campaign finance reform, common sense gun laws, a living wage and collective bargaining for workers’ rights, reforming the courts, and re-establishing trust between law enforcement officials and the community. Unsicker is Lutheran and an ally of the secular community.

Mitch Weber

Running for: Missouri State House (District 13)

Mitch Weber ran for the Missouri State House in District 13. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 7, and earned 46% of the vote in the general election. “A Midwest boy through and through,” Weber is driven by a strong work ethic and service to others and wants “to be the person you come to when you need to be heard, and I intend to be a strong voice for you in Jefferson City.” A problem-solver, his issue priorities include legalizing medical marijuana to “protect a patient’s right to any medical treatment that can ease pain and improve quality of life,” funding public education to “provide a level playing field for kids from all backgrounds and economic situations,” bringing Missouri “up to speed” on transportation, and supporting unions and raising the minimum wage. Weber is spiritual but not religious.

Montana

Patrick Maloney

Running for: Montana State House (District 97)

Patrick Maloney ran for the Montana State House in District 97. He won the Democratic primary on June 5 with 52% of the vote, and earned 42% of the vote in the general election. Maloney is tired of complaining about problems and wants to help solve them “with reasonable, rational, and weighted solutions.” He is dedicated to preserving Montana’s wild spaces while expanding the state’s economic base by attracting “scientific, medical, and technological companies that will propel our state into the future.” He will work to improve the public schools, make higher education affordable, and increase voter participation in elections by using technological innovations. Maloney describes himself to be “pro-life” but he strongly supports a woman’s right to control her own reproductive choices and will not infringe on those rights regardless of his own belief that all life has value. He will also fight for tighting control of firearms, abolishing the death penalty, and providing healthcare for all. Maloney is an atheist.

Robert Petersen

Running for: Montana State House (District 9)

Robert Petersen ran for the Montana State House in District 9. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5, and earned 30% of the vote in the general election. Petersen is a veteran, a fan of Will Rogers, and is running in this very red district because he is “cannot stand seeing Republicans running unopposed!” Petersen is a naturalist. He says, “I don’t believe in God, but She (and her followers) scare me to death.”

Nebraska

Megan Hunt

Running for: Nebraska State Senate (District 8)

Megan Hunt won election to the Nebraska State Senate in District 8. She won the nonpartisan primary on May 15 with 56% of the vote, and the general election with 64% of the vote. A small business owner, community activist, mother, and sixth-generation Nebraskan, Hunt has worked in her community to empower girls, end sexual assault and harassment, and advocate for comprehensive sex education. Running because “I don’t see enough leaders who are willing to advocate for forward-looking developments in Nebraska policy,” her policy priorities focus on reducing the brain drain in the state, funding quality public education, reforming the criminal justice system, expanding Medicaid, funding for family planning services, and investing in alternative energy sources for Nebraska. Hunt is an atheist.

Jessica McClure

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Nebraska – District 1)

Jessica McClure ran for Congress in Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District. She won the Democratic primary on May 15 with 66% of the vote, and earned 40% of the vote in the general election. McClure is a mom, analytical chemist, and law school graduate. She recently won her democratic primary with a two to one margin and is using that momentum to run a field intensive campaign based on strategy and science. McClure is a champion for affordable health care, quality education, and equality for all. In a time where religious entanglement with the government has become unconstitutional, it’s important to stand up for the rights of the people to practice their religion, or not practice a religion, without government interference. McClure was raised Catholic, but is currently religiously unaffiliated.

Nevada

Craig Jordahl

Running for: Nevada State Senate (District 12)

Craig Jordahl ran for the Nevada State Senate in District 12. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 12, and earned 38% of the vote in the general election. Running “because I want to see Nevada as a place of hope and opportunity for all Nevadans,” Jordahl comes from a union background and is an Air Force veteran. His issue priorities include strengthening labor unions and protecting collective bargaining; repealing “right to work” legislation; a $15 minimum wage; affordable higher education; supporting social programs; advocating for the LGBTQ+ community; expanding healthcare; investing in solar energy; and passing strict gun legislation and background checks. Jordahl is Lutheran and an ally of the secular community.

June Joseph

Running for: Nevada State House (District 26)

June Joseph ran for the Nevada State House in District 26. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 12, and earned 43% of the vote in the general election. As the first Democratic candidate to run for this seat in the last three election cycles, Joseph wants to help Nevada become one of the most thriving, financially successful states in the Southwest. Having lived in District 26 for over 24 years, her policy priorities focus on funding for public education and investment in teachers, increasing renewable energy opportunities, protecting the environment, expanding the Silver State Healthcare Exchange, making Nevada’s higher education opportunities affordable, increasing the minimum wage to a living wage, providing mental healthcare and addiction treatment facilities, and protecting women’s rights. Joseph does not use a religious identifier – she “believes in science.”

Jack Love

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Nevada – District 3)

John “Jack” Love ran for Congress in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District. In the June 12 Democratic primary Love earned 6% of the vote – finishing 4th in a field of seven candidates. As a successful businessman, Love knows that is necessary to foster success and understands the challenges people face today. He sees the current administration’s policies on the economy, education, infrastructure, healthcare, immigration, criminal justice, foreign policy and the environment as dangerous to our society’s success. Love says that Democrats have been too passive in promoting their agenda – “Democrats need to realize they are up against an opposition that is ruthless and devious. They believe the end justifies the means. I will fight tooth and nail against the destructive GOP policies.” Love was raised Catholic but is now religiously unaffiliated.

Paula Povilaitis

Running for: Nevada State House (District 32)

Paula Povilaitis ran for the Nevada State Assembly in District 32. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 12, and earned 29% of the vote in the general election. The oldest of four children born to a working class family, Povilaitis “wants to put the concept of ‘Public Servant’ back into today’s politics” and “will bring SERVICE with a SMILE to the citizens of Nevada, especially those in rural areas.” Her issue priorities include investment in clean energy, improving infrastructure, protecting small businesses, tax reform, funding for education, and providing universal health care. Povilaitis is spiritual but not affiliated with a religious organization.

Lesia Romanov

Running for: Nevada State House (District 36)

Lesia Romanov ran for the Nevada State Assembly in District 36. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 12, and earned 37% of the vote in the general election. The first challenger to the Republican incumbent in the last three election cycles, Romanov believes “it is time for the people to stand up and be heard in the State of Nevada” and “will tirelessly work to represent the wants and the needs of the voters in Nevada.” Born and raised in Nevada and with a career focused on education, as assemblywoman she will prioritize education reform, gun safety, and protecting water rights. Romanov is spiritual but not affiliated with a religious organization.

Jacky Rosen

Running for: U.S. Senate (Nevada)

Jacky Rosen won election to U.S. Senate in Nevada. She won her primary on June 12 with 77% of the vote, and earned 50% of the vote in the general election. In her tenure as a member of the House of Representatives from Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, Rosen serves on the House Armed Services Committee and House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and has sponsored legislation investing in solar energy, creating tech jobs, promoting STEM education for girls, supporting services for veterans, and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace and domestic violence, among others. She is a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus and has been rated one of the most bipartisan freshmen in the House. As a member of the Senate, Rosen will continue to fight for quality public schools and affordable higher education, renewable energy and the environment, government and campaign finance reform, healthcare expansion, immigration reform, common-sense gun safety, and women’s rights. Rosen is Jewish and a strong ally of the secular community.

Heidi Swank

Running for: Nevada State House (District 16)

Heidi Swank won re-election to the Nevada State Assembly in District 16. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 12 and in the general election. A resident of Las Vegas for more than a decade and first elected to office in 2012, Swank has fought for full funding of education, investment in infrastructure, and safeguarding Nevada’s heritage communities. She chairs the Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining as well as sits on the Assembly Education and Ways and Means Committees. She will continue to promote legislation that attracts new industry and high-paying, stable jobs to Nevada; quality public education; investment in state resources and infrastructure; services for veterans, seniors, and children; and renewable energy. Swank is an atheist.

Howard Watts

Running for: Nevada State House (District 15)

Howard Watts won election to the Nevada State House in District 15, earning 67% of the vote in the general election. A “thoughtful progressive” and small business owner with a long record of community service, “he has dedicated his career to fighting for policies that preserve the environment, protect consumers, increase access to the ballot box, and ensure dignity for immigrants and LGBTQ people.” Watts’s issue priorities focus on raising the minimum wage, expanding employee benefits, and protecting union rights; ensuring access to healthcare, including mental healthcare, women’s reproductive care, and studying gun violence; creating a path to 100% renewable energy in Nevada, banning fracking, and protecting and promoting access to public lands; funding public education and keeping public dollars out of private schools; reforming redistricting and expanding access to voter registration; and reforming the criminal justice system, including reforming the bail system, abolishing the death penalty, treating drug use as a health issue, and providing a path to citizenship for undocumented Nevadans. Watts identifies as agnostic.

New Hampshire

Chris Balch

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Hillsborough District 38)

Chris Balch won election to the New Hampshire State House in Hillsborough District 38. He is a retired teacher and an activist for the environment, democracy, and peace. His policy agenda includes a ban on fracking in the natural gas industry to protect our water and environment, eliminating corporate and dark money in our political system, common sense gun regulations like background checks and a 48-waiting period on sales, paid family and medical leave for all workers, and a strong and effective public education system. Balch is spiritual and religiously unaffiliated.

Justin Borden

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Belknap District 6)

Justin Borden ran for the New Hampshire State House in Belknap 6. A progressive Democrat “who believes government exists to serve and better the lives of all its citizens, not just the wealthiest, or the special interest groups,” he supports increasing the minimum wage, common sense gun legislation, civil and voting rights for all, criminal justice reform, funding for public schools, investing in clean energy, government transparency, increasing healthcare access, and fair taxes. Borden is an atheist.

John Bordenet

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Cheshire District 5)

John Bordenet won re-election to the New Hampshire State House in Cheshire 5. He is unopposed in both the primary on September 11 and in the general election. A software engineer and member of many local committees, Bordenet is running for re-election because “I care about the future of our state and think my background and skills can continue to move New Hampshire into the 21st century.” A member of the Municipal and County Government Committee, he has championed legislation reforming drug rehab treatment, protecting LGBTQ+ and civil rights, funding public education, supporting women’s rights, and strengthening environmental legislation. Bordenet’s top three issue priorities focus on providing money for state services, strengthening public education, and reforming casino operations in the state. Bordenet is a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Scott Burns

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Merrimack District 2)

Scott Burns ran for the New Hampshire State House in Merrimack 2. A former member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 2012 to 2014, he says, “I am committing to do everything I can to ensure that ALL of our citizens have the opportunity to live healthy, rewarding lives that provide them the opportunity to thrive and live up to their potential.” Burns believes education is key and his policy priorities include funding for education, revitalizing Franklin’s economy, stewardship programs for public land, and resources for addiction and recovery from substance abuse. Burns has a Baptist and Episcopal background, but is no longer involved in organized religion.

Carlos Cardona

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Belknap District 3)

Carlos Cardona ran for the New Hampshire State House in the Belknap 3 District. He is seeking this office “because our community needs a leader who can represent and fight for our views and make Laconia the leading and innovative community that we know it can be.” Cardona is a father, a husband, an AmeriCorp alumnus, and one of the youngest elected officials in New Hampshire history when he won a school board race in 2007. Cardona’s issue priorities include paid family leave, conservation of the New Hampshire environment, instituting solar tax credits, abolishing the death penalty, expanding voting rights by allowing New Hampshire students to vote in the state and legalizing electronic voting registration, expanding comprehensive sex education, implementing term limits, and supporting unions. Cardona was raised Catholic and is now a humanist.

Michelle Carter

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Belknap District 5)

Michelle Carter ran for the New Hampshire State House in Belknap District 5. With a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and a diverse career as a teacher, project manager in a bio-medical firm, and assistant director of a children’s museum, she has gained “an appreciation for science, the ability to research and evaluate information in an un-biased manner, as well as the ability to work cooperatively toward a common goal.” She is a strong supporter of quality public education, church-state separation, and equal rights for all. Carter was raised Catholic and is now an atheist.

Jacqueline Chretien

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Hillsborough District 42)

Jacqueline Chretien won election to the New Hampshire State House in Hillsborough District 42. Dr. Chretien holds a PhD in molecular and cell biology and says “I will bring my analytical approach to find creative solutions to our most pressing challenges, work to keep and attract young families to New Hampshire, and ensure that state government makes smart, long-term investments in our people and institutions.” Her policy agenda includes increasing high-quality public education; affordable housing, healthcare, and childcare; and promoting compassionate evidence-based approaches to addiction. Dr. Chretien is a humanist.

Eric Emmerling

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Hillsborough District 6)

Eric Emmerling ran for the New Hampshire State House in Hillsborough 6. A Goffstown homeowner since 1983, he has chronicled Goffstown as a journalist for years and is now running for State Representative to “do what’s right.” Emmerling’s issue priorities focus on creating a high-quality public education system for everyone, championing a livable minimum wage and protecting workers, expanding reliable and affordable healthcare, and addressing New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic. Emmerling is a spiritual individual though not formally religious.

Ben Geiger

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Rockingham District 4)

Ben Geiger ran for the New Hampshire State House in Rockingham 4. He is looking to break the Republican control of this district and offer a strong, progressive voice for his constituents. His policy priorities include protecting the integrity of science, defending the secular character of our government, and ensuring equality for all regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. Geiger is an atheist and a member of the American Humanist Association.

Amanda Gourgue

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Strafford District 25)

Amanda Gourgue won re-election to the New Hampshire State House in Strafford County, District 25. Born and raised in New Hampshire, she is running for re-election to continue her work promoting “the strength of our communities, the health of our families and a vibrant, growing economy” in the state legislature. In the State House, Gourgue sits on the Environment and Agriculture Committee and has championed legislation protecting the environment, expanding access to healthcare, and safeguarding civil rights for all. In her next term, she will continue to fight for access to quality public education, affordable housing, clean energy policies and safe, clean air and water for all, a favorable business environment and access to good jobs with fair competitive wages, benefits, and safe working conditions, retirement and pension security, and effective public transportation. Gourgue is a student of all religions but currently doesn’t practice anything.

Brenda Grady

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Hillsborough District 21)

Brenda Grady ran for the New Hampshire State House in Hillsborough 21. A high school science educator with a background in biology, she previously served Hillsborough 21 from 2012 to 2014, sitting on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Running because “the decisions coming out of Concord fail too many citizens,” Grady’s policy priorities include advocating for reasoned and well-researched decision-making in the legislature, creating jobs, investing in public education, and protecting New Hampshire’s environment. Grady is religiously unaffiliated.

George Hamblen

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Rockingham District 14)

George Hamblen ran for the New Hampshire State House in Rockingham 14. His policy goals include addressing the opioid and drug addiction problem by funding recovery programs and counseling, fully funding public education and rewarding teachers for their work, protecting and encouraging small business, promoting alternative energy and addressing climate change, making college affordable, advocating for veteran’s benefits, and protecting women’s rights. Hamblen has been exposed to many religious traditions. With a family background that includes Syrian Orthodox, he was raised Methodist and he married into a Jewish family. He says, “It’s important to me that public policy should not be dictated by religious groups. Policy needs to be independent and benefit all Americans.”

Martha Hennessey

Running for: New Hampshire State Senate (District 5)

Martha Hennessey won re-election to New Hampshire’s 5th State Senate District. earning 73% of the vote in the general election. Hennessey identifies as agnostic and believes “in the dignity of all human beings and our individual rights to pursue personal meaning and truth; I believe in complete separation of church and state.” Hennessey is a Psychologist and taught at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine. She is a progressive legislator advocating for the environment, women’s reproductive rights, public education, LGBTQ rights and gun violence prevention.

Timothy Horrigan

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Strafford 6)

Timothy Horrigan won re-election to the New Hampshire State House in Strafford 6. In his tenure in the House, he passed key legislation preserving free admission to state parks for seniors, securing funding and resources for the University of New Hampshire, and allowing vacant legislative seats to be filled more quickly. When re-elected, Horrigan will to continue to work for free and fair elections, judicial reform, environmental protection, a sustainable economy; and fully funded public schools. Horrigan identifies as Christian and is an ally of the secular community.

Terence O’Rourke

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (New Hampshire – District 1)

Terence O’Rourke ran for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District. In the September 11 Democratic primary O’Rourke earned 1% of the vote – finishing 9th in a field of eleven candidates. A dedicated, lifelong public servant with extensive litigation and budget experience, he “is prepared to ‘hit the ground running’ and meet his Congressional duties head-on.” His policy priorities focus on ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, rebuilding our infrastructure and public transportation, stopping the influx of opioids and treating addiction like other diseases, reforming the tax system, protecting health care, upholding and increasing equality, legalizing marijuana, curbing gun violence, protecting the natural environment, and safeguarding Dodd-Frank. O’Rourke was raised Catholic, but after his military service in Iraq, he now identifies as a nontheist.

David Owen

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Carroll District 6)

David Owen ran for the New Hampshire State House in Carroll 6. Passionate about protecting the environment and limiting the effects of climate change, Owen will also advocate for the legalization of recreational marijuana use, stricter gun control laws, more affordable housings, increased funding for heroin treatment programs, and expanded Medicaid eligibility. He will speak out and be a leader for equality and civil rights of all people. Owen is a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Catt Sandler

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Strafford District 21)

Catt Sandler won re-election to the New Hampshire State House in Strafford 21. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 11, and earned 57% of the vote in the general election. A retired attorney and veteran, Sandler has put the objectives and concerns of her constituents first and will continue to do so if re-elected. In the House, she sits on the Legislative Administration Committee and has advocated for legislation increasing the minimum wage and supporting workers’ rights, expanding healthcare access, and increasing voting access. Sandler’s issue priorities include environmental protection, supporting veterans with access to quality medical care, funding for public education, supporting community outreach programs in police departments, and a $15 minimum wage. Sandler is Jewish and a strong ally of the secular community.

Jan Schmidt

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Hillsborough District 28)

Jan Schmidt won re-election to the New Hampshire State House in the Hillsborough District 28. Schmidt’s advocacy focus is on effective policies that promote, sustain, and strengthen working families and local businesses with investments in quality public education, infrastructure improvements, healthcare, and the environment. She currently serves on the Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee. Schmidt is a nontheist.

Suzanne Smith

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Grafton District 8)

Suzanne Smith won re-election to the New Hampshire State House in Grafton 8. First elected in 2008, she is the ranking Democrat on the Committee on Resources, Recreation, and Development and sits on the Committee on the Judiciary. As a homeopath and nutritionist who serves on various environmental commissions, Smith has championed bills investing in energy efficiency and land conservation, expanding the biomass industry, and enlarging access to healthcare. When re-elected, she will also continue her work increasing voter access and reforming campaign finance laws, funding public education, and repealing the death penalty. Smith is not affiliated with a religious organization.

Tim Smith

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

Tim Smith won 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.

Wendy E.N. Thomas

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Hillsborough District 21)

Wendy E.N. Thomas won election the New Hampshire State House in Hillsborough District 21. A mother of six, Wendy Thomas is journalist who writes about parenting, backyard poultry, and adventures in being thrifty. Her legislative agenda includes protecting drinking water from corporate contamination, legalizing cannabis, protecting church-state separation, and opposing school vouchers. Thomas is spiritual but not religious.

Joyce Weston

Running for: New Hampshire State House (Grafton District 8)

Joyce Weston won election to the New Hampshire State House in Grafton 8. A New Hampshire native with a background serving the local Democratic community, she wants “to represent all the citizens in this district with particular attention to their local needs and to provide positive new leadership in the House.” Working in the arts and community organizing fields, Weston’s “focus since college has been in fairness in economic opportunity, expanding civil rights, and protecting the environment.” Her issue priorities also include investing in public education and in the community. Weston is an atheist.

New Mexico

Dennis Dinge

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (New Mexico – District 1)

Dennis Dinge is a scientist and ran for Congress in New Mexico’s First Congressional District – he suspended his campaign in November 2017. Trained in electrical engineering and physics, he works on cutting edge supercomputing technology. Dinge wanted to bring his problem solving skills to Washington. He said, “I take three basic steps when solving a problem: see the problem, understand the problem, fix the problem. An unbiased assessment of all facts is necessary for the first two steps. Creativity and testing are necessary for the third. Contrast this with the current situation in Washington, in which the approach to problems is to form an opinion and then cherry pick, or even make up, facts to support that opinion.” Dinge was raised Southern Baptist, but now identifies as agnostic.

New York

Adam Baumel

Running for: New York State Assembly (District 64)

Adam Baumel ran for the New York State Assembly in District 64. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 13, and earned 39% of the vote in the general election. His policy agenda includes addressing the opioid epidemic, establishing a single payer health care system, improving disability rights and access to transportation, opposing “right to work” legislation, legalizing cannabis, and addressing gender inequality. Baumel says, “I plan to tackle these issues head on, along with supporting our local unions, teachers, veterans, and small businesses. Understanding how these issues connect can help raise awareness, while bringing together allies within our community so that together we can all thrive.” Raised Jewish, Baumel identifies as secular.

Christopher Scott Comegys

Running for: New York State Assembly (District 130)

Christopher Scott Comegys ran for the New York State Assembly in District 130. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 13, and earned 33% of the vote in the general election. The first challenger to the Republican incumbent in the last four election cycles, Comegys “believes that a representative in government should hear the people they represent, work for the people they represent, and be accountable to the people they represent.” As a lifelong resident of Central and Western New York, a farmer, and a graduate of public schools, his issue priorities focus on funding public education and programs for practical working and trade skills, creating jobs by developing and implementing Green Economic Initiatives, and advancing the New York Health Act as a single-payer healthcare system.

Farah Despeignes

Running for: New York State Assembly (District 87)

Farah Despeignes ran for the New York State Assembly in District 87. In the September 13 Democratic primary Despeignes earned 12% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of three candidates. A teacher, activist and occasional writer, she is an Organizing for America fellow and has dedicated her life to advocating for underserved communities. Despeignes’s advocacy is based on the full participation of underserved communities in their own development. This is reflected in her platform, which she has entitled “what I can do for us as a legislator and what we can do together as a community.” Her policy priorities focus on allocating resources for public education and differentiated curricula that support each child’s needs, investing in social and economic structures that support seniors, the youth and the poor, reforming the criminal justice system and adequately treating mental health needs, investment in community economic development, increasing affordable housing, expanding access to healthcare, supporting veterans and immigrants, and committing to environmental justice. Despeignes is deeply spiritual but not religious.

Carima El-Behairy

Running for: New York State Senate (District 60)

Carima El-Behairy ran for the New York State Senate in District 60, earning 44% of the vote in the general election. A mother of two and a small business owner, she is endorsed by the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality Parties and running unopposed in the primary, so look for her on the ballot November 6th on all three lines. A Western New York native, El-Behairy is running “on a platform of quality education, election reform, healthcare access and affordability, and preservation with development.” Her policy priorities include but are not limited to universal pre-kindergarten, increasing voter registration and voter access, preserving and promoting Western New York’s environment, and universal healthcare. El-Behairy had a Muslim father and has a Lutheran mother. She says, “I have faith, but not a faith.”

Harvey Epstein

Running for: New York State Assembly (District 74)

Harvey Epstein won re-election to the New York State Assembly in District 74. He won the Democratic primary with 63% of the vote, and the general election with 87% of the vote. A public interest attorney Epstein “has been at the forefront of critical economic development and housing issues; at the same time, he has worked tirelessly on dozens of pieces of legislation that have helped improve the lives of everyday New Yorkers.” His policy agenda includes expanding and preserving affordable housing, investing in public education, creating a single-payer healthcare system, expanding job creation and wage growth, increasing voting access and transparency in government. and reforming the criminal justice system. Epstein is Jewish and agnostic.

Laurette Giardino

Running for: New York State Assembly (District 105)

Laurette Giardino ran for the New York State Assembly in District 105. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 13, and earned 42% of the vote in the general election. A progressive Democrat who’s been an activist for social justice for nearly fifty years, Giardino is running to “fight for equality for women, minorities and the LGBTQ community; work to protect our senior citizens and strengthen economic growth here in Dutchess County and across the state.” On a journey to “to fight the Republican Party’s stranglehold on Dutchess County,” her policy priorities focus on expanding single-payer healthcare through the New York Health, supporting gun violence prevention legislation, ranked choice voting, and free college and technical education, investing in alternative energy, and creating affordable housing for and supporting seniors, veterans, and low-income families. Giardino is a humanist.

Andrew Gilchrist

Running for: New York State Assembly (District 135)

Andrew Gilchrist ran for the New York Assembly in District 135. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 13, and earned 48% of the vote in the general election. Born to a working-class family who built their own log home and with a tradition of community service, Gilchrist “wants us all to have economic and educational opportunities that strengthen our community and build a future that we all can be proud.” If elected, he will fight for a stronger economy, jobs, education, and justice, including a living wage; funding for public schools, career training, accessible housing; healthcare for all; criminal justice reform; and campaign finance reform. Gilchrist was raised Mormon, but is now agnostic.

John Mannion

Running for: New York State Senate (District 50)

John Mannion ran for the New York Senate in District 50. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 13, and earned 49% of the vote in the general election. The first Democrat to run in several cycles, the seat is open this year and was won by both Clinton & Obama. Mannion is a high school biology teacher and believes, “It is time for teachers, nurses, carpenters and others that have been pushed aside to take their seat at the table.” If elected, he will fight for a government for the people, an economy that rewards work, and a strong public education system for our future. Mannion identifies as Catholic and is an ally of the secular community.

Vivian Viloria-Fisher

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (New York – District 1)

Vivian Viloria-Fisher ran for Congress in New York’s 1st Congressional District. In the June 26 Democratic primary she earned 16% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of five candidates. Viloria-Fisher looked to take her thirteen years of legislative experience on the Suffolk County Legislature to Washington so constituents would have a “representative who truly appreciates the importance of protecting our planet earth, respecting all our neighbors and ensuring that families can count on a safe future: financially and environmentally.” Viloria-Fisher was raised Catholic and embraced a life of “empathy, thoughtfulness, and public service according to the example provided by Jesus, Gandhi, and other great leaders.” She is now a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation.

North Carolina

Norman Bossert

Running for: North Carolina State Senate (District 48)

Norman Bossert ran for the North Carolina State Senate in District 48. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 44% of the vote in the primary election. A retired classroom teacher and school administrator, Bossert is seeking public office because he “has seen how destructive and divisive the legislature has become and is determined to be a voice of reason for the people of western North Carolina.” His policy priorities include investing in public school to make sure our students, teachers, and communities are successful, creating a vibrant economic environment with jobs that pay a living wage, and expanding Medicaid and making access to healthcare a right for everyone. Bossert is Jewish and a humanist.

Bonnie Dawn Clark

Running for: North Carolina State House (District 77)

Bonnie Dawn Clark ran for the North Carolina State House in District 77. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 8, and earned 26% of the vote in the general election. Clark is challenging an entrenched Republican incumbent who she says has done nothing to combat the horrific resurgence of racism and homophobia in North Carolina and the nation. As a veteran, Clark is disgusted with the “fascist actions” of the Republican Party in stripping powers from the newly elected Democratic Governor. She says, “I will do everything in my power to return the once great state of North Carolina to the tenets of democracy and to uphold justice, freedom, and human rights.” Clark is spiritual, but not religious.

Greg Cranford

Running for: North Carolina State House (District 89)

Greg Cranford ran for the North Carolina State House in District 89. Cranford was unopposed in the May 8 Democratic primary, and earned 28% of the vote in the general election. He is the first candidate to oppose the Republican incumbent in at least the last five election cycles. He is running to provide voters with a choice in this very red district. Cranford is a strong advocate of supporting church-state separation, protecting the integrity of science and addressing climate change, opposing discrimination against the LGBTQ community and protecting reproductive rights. Cranford identifies with the Christian left and is an ally of the secular community.

Allison Dahle

Running for: North Carolina State House (District 11)

Allison Dahle won election to the North Carolina State House in District 11. She defeated the incumbent and one other opponent in the Democratic primary on May 8, earning 69% of the vote. She also earned 69% of the vote in the general election. A proud Raleigh native who has always called North Carolina her home, she believes “we need to put our government back in the hands of the people” and pledges “to do everything I can to serve you, your family, and our community.” Dahle’s issue priorities focus on a fair economy for all through a living wage, quality public transportation, and tax reform; equitable funding for public schools; protecting LGBTQ+ and women’s rights; common-sense gun safety; environmental protection laws; and Medicaid expansion. Dahle was raised in a liberal church and will legislate “based on the needs of the public not my beliefs on the subject of God.”

Verla Insko

Running for: North Carolina State House (District 56)

Verla Insko won re-election to the North Carolina General Assembly in House District 56. She is in her 11th term, the House Democratic Whip, was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 6, and won the general election with 86% of the vote. Insko is a progressive legislator who believes “in an activist government that provides for the common good and protects the vulnerable while maintaining a balance between the rights of the individual and the wellbeing of the larger community.” Insko is a Baptist and an ally of the secular community.

Gayle Kemp

Running for: North Carolina State House (District 117)

Gayle Kemp ran for the North Carolina State House in District 117. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 40% of the vote in the general election. Kemp is a retired attorney who devoted her legal career to improving the lives of her fellow citizens, first as a Public Defender for 15 years and later as a criminal justice instructor training law enforcement with the NC Department of Justice. Her policy priorities include improving the public schools, expanding economic development and ensuring jobs pay a living wage, ending partisan and racial gerrymandering of voting districts, preserving and fostering the health of our environment, and expanding Medicaid and making healthcare affordable for everyone. Kemp is religiously unaffiliated.

North Dakota

R. Travis Brazelton

Running for: North Dakota State Senate (District 37)

R. Travis Brazelton ran for the North Dakota State Senate in District 37. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 12, and earned 19% of the vote in the general election. He is the first Democratic challenger in the past three election cycles in this district. Involved in Scouts for Equality, Brazelton’s issue priorities focus on protecting small farmers and oil workers from tariffs and oil price dips, legalizing recreational marijuana, protecting voting rights, among others. Brazelton does not discuss his religious beliefs and opposes religious intrusions into government.

Rachele Hall

Running for: North Dakota State Senate (District 31)

Rachele Hall ran for the North Dakota State Senate in District 31. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 12, and earned 35% of the vote in the general election. A former Bernie Sanders delegate, Hall believes “Democracy is not a spectator sport.” She supports a North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment and the creation of an ethics commission; repealing the state’s “blue laws” that give only the selected few a half day off from work on Sundays; protecting the environment and expanding sustainable farmland; funding social services; legalizing recreational cannabis; and a $15 minimum wage. Hall was raised Baptist and is now an atheist.

Tim Hoye

Running for: North Dakota State House (District 45)

Tim Hoye ran for the North Dakota State House in District 45. He was unopposed in the Democratic-NPL primary on June 12. Hoye calls West Fargo home and feels strongly about creating jobs in renewable energy, manufacturing, funding school and workplace safety programs, supporting net neutrality and online safety by keeping your data safe from the hands of the big businesses. Hoye believes funding public education – especially higher education and early childhood development programs is vital to the future of North Dakota and the country. Hoye identifies as agnostic.

Crysta Parkinson

Running for: North Dakota State House (District 1)

Crysta Parkinson ran for the North Dakota State House in District 1. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 12. A writer and mother, Parkinson believes, “The most important role in our democracy is that of citizen,” and will fight for the “strong, thriving” community of Williston in Bismarck. Her issue priorities focus on investing in public education and school infrastructure, decreasing crippling property taxes and promoting fiscal responsibility, and expanding access to healthcare and addressing the opioid crisis. Parkinson is an agnostic atheist.

Zachary Raknerud

Running for: North Dakota State House (District 5)

Zachary Raknerud ran for the North Dakota State House in District 5. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary in June 12. As North Dakota has always been his home, Raknerud is running “to bring a new set of ideas to Bismarck.” If elected, he will work to reform North Dakota’s budget, invest in young people, improve healthcare, address the state’s nursing crisis, improve the criminal justice system, protect North Dakota’s workers, create an independent ethics commission, repeal the state’s “blue laws” that tell businesses when they can or cannot operate, and ensure equal protection for the LGBTQ+ community. Raknerud is an agnostic humanist.

Ohio

Janet Everhard

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Ohio – District 2)

Janet Everhard ran for Congress in Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District. In the May 8 Democratic primary Everhard earned 34% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of three candidates. Dr. Everhard is a retired physician, who “learned to listen compassionately, research and distill complex issues, and make important decisions in stressful situations.” In Congress, she wants to use her skills on issues such as economic and job development, access to affordable quality healthcare, infrastructure repair, environmental protection, and educational/retraining opportunity for all ages Everhard was raised Methodist, but “chose a humanist life by my teenage years.” She respects each person’s choice of spiritual path.

Aaron Godfrey

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Ohio – District 16)

Aaron Godfrey ran for Congress in Ohio’s 16th Congressional District. In the May 8 Democratic primary Godfrey earned 8% of the vote – finishing 5th in a field of six candidates. Aaron is a scientist with a B.A. and M.S. in physics and works at a high-tech aerospace company. Raised in a true working class family, he struggled to raise the money to pay for college – an ongoing struggle, thanks to the burden of student loan debt. Godfrey fears that the American dream of reaching the middle class through education and hard work is being eradicated. To reverse this, he is advocating for reform of the K-12 public school system and access to affordable, quality higher education. He also supports the creation of a public option/Medicare-for-All healthcare system, an end to partisan gerrymandering, and efforts to curb our nation’s contribution to climate change and support of initiatives for sustainable, renewable resources. Godfrey identifies as an atheist.

Joe Helle

Running for: Ohio State House (District 89)

Joe Helle ran for the Ohio State House in District 89. Helle was unopposed in the May 8 Democratic primary, and earned 35% of the vote in the general election. He is a veteran and former 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.

Shawna Roberts

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Ohio – 6)

Shawna Roberts ran for Congress in Ohio’s 6th Congressional District earning 31% of the vote in the general election. A former beekeeper who always wanted to live in the country, she believes “District 6 is one of the most beautiful places on earth.” Roberts’ policy priorities include real tax reform, a living wage, Medicare and Medicaid expansion, expanding access to high-speed internet, high quality education, repairing roads and bridges, reducing greenhouse gases and combating pollution, reducing opioid addiction, and gun reform. Roberts is a Quaker and an ally of the secular community.

Cassimir Svigelj

Running for: Ohio State House (District 16)

Cassimir Svigelj ran for the Ohio State House in District 16. Svigelj was unopposed in the May 8 Democratic primary, and he earned 46% of the vote in the general election. 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.

Oklahoma

William Andrews

Running for: Oklahoma State Senate (District 22)

William Andrews ran for the Oklahoma State Senate in District 22. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 26, and earned 32% of the vote in the general election. A fourth-generation Oklahoman, Andrews will “not only value the diversity of rural and urban communities, but depend on it when making decisions.” As a proud product of Oklahoma public education and the first in the family to receive a bachelor’s degree, his policy priorities focus on properly funding public education, protecting Oklahoma’s water, air, and environment from oil and gas interests, reforming Oklahoma’s sprawling criminal justice system and decreasing its massive private prison industry, and protecting civil rights for all citizens. Andrews identifies as agnostic.

LaVelle Compton

Running for: Oklahoma State House (District 90)

LaVelle Compton ran for the Oklahoma State House in District 90. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 26, and earned 41% of the vote in the general election. A lifelong Oklahoman who has always had a desire to serve his community, Compton is challenging the Republican incumbent, who has been unopposed in the last three cycles, to “fight for sustainable funding for Oklahoma’s core services, criminal justice reform, and true representation of the constituents in his district.” His policy priorities include fighting for increased, sustainable funding for public schools; developing a long-term strategy to fix Oklahoma’s budget deficit; increase funding for state agencies to properly serve Oklahoma’s communities; and beginning comprehensive criminal justice reform. Compton says, “My job as an elected official is to work for the people, and be of the people. I will uphold that duty and work for all.” Compton believes in God and is a strong ally of the secular community.

Devyn Denton

Running for: Oklahoma State House (District 39)

Devyn Denton ran for the Oklahoma State House in District 39. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 26, and earned 35% of the vote in the general election. The first challenger to the Republican incumbent in the past two election cycles, Denton intends to “fight, as she always has, for equality and forward-thinking policy that will benefit not just Edmond, but the state of Oklahoma.” A registered nurse, community leader, and philanthropist with successful campaign experience running for the board of the American Nurses Association, she has seen firsthand how effective policy and adequate education funding has an effect on the lives of all Oklahomans. Denton’s policy priorities focus on well-funded public education, supporting military servicemen and veterans, caring for seniors, more local control over environmental and infrastructure policy, expanding healthcare access, legalizing cannabis, common sense gun laws, criminal justice reform, and protecting civil liberties. She has thought that her personal beliefs are her own and what’s most important is community empowerment, wellness of community, and economic development.

Renee Jerden

Running for: Oklahoma State Senate (District 24)

Renee Jerden ran for the Oklahoma State Senate in District 24. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 37% of the vote in the general election. A “choir teacher challenging the status quo,” Jerden is listening to the people of her district and is “present and willing to dig deep and find the common ground between people to get things done.” With public education as her highest priority, Jerden will also fight for public policy that gives people access to quality healthcare and mental health care they need, as well as working to eliminate poverty and advance social justice. Jerden is spiritual and an ally of the secular community.

Forrest Mayer

Running for: Oklahoma State House (District 76)

Forrest Mayer ran for the Oklahoma State House in District 76. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 26, and earned 33% of the vote in the general election. A science educator, Mayer wants to bring Oklahoma into the 21st century and “believes in human effort and ingenuity, not party politics.” His issue priorities focus on separation of church and state, funding education, investing in clean energy, legalizing marijuana, decreasing incarceration in Oklahoma, creating a fair budget, protecting women’s healthcare and reproductive rights, and upholding LGBTQ+ rights. Mayer is an atheist.

Oregon

Julie Fahey

Running for: Oregon State House (District 14)

Julie Fahey won re-election to Oregon’s 14th State House District. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 61% of the vote in the general election. 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.”

Mitch Greenlick

Running for: Oregon State House (District 33)

Mitch Greenlick won re-election to Oregon’s 33rd State House District. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 76% of the vote in the general election. Greenlick is a progressive legislator who has served in the House for 15 years – working to protect and improve public education, health care, the environment, and personal freedoms. He introduced legislation that now allows nonreligious Oregonians, or anyone who does not wish to have their marriage officiated by clergy or a government functionary, to have their marriages solemnize by certified secular celebrants. This measure was championed by the Center for Inquiry and the Secular Coalition for Oregon. Greenlick is professor emeritus and past chair of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in the Medical School of Oregon Health & Science University; former director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and Vice President for Research, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals; and elected as a member of the National Academies of Science’s Institute of Medicine. Greenlick identifies as Jewish and an atheist.

Solea Kabakov

Running for: Oregon State Senate (District 30)

Solea Kabakov ran for the Oregon State Senate in District 30. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 28% of the vote in the general election. A lifelong activist working for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice, Kabakov is passionate about finding common ground and building community to “gain understanding of the people’s needs and find creative solutions to move us forward into a sustainable future together.” Her issue priorities include government transparency, protecting civil rights for all, protecting the environment and increasing renewable energy use, achieving economic equality through supporting small businesses, increasing the minimum wage, and providing affordable housing, and strengthening public education. Kabakov is an atheist

Pam Marsh

Running for: Oregon State House (District 5)

Pam Marsh won re-election to Oregon’s 5th State House District. Marsh was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 68% of the vote in the general election. 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.

Bill Trumble

Running for: Oregon State House (District 53)

Bill Trumble ran for the Oregon State House in District 53. In the May 15 Democratic primary Trumble earned 27% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. After a varied career as a scientist, researcher, university administrator, civil servant, corporate CEO, as well as a Vietnam Veteran, Trumble is seeking to use his experience and skills to find solutions to issues important to the residents of his district. He wants to bring truth, transparency, and civility to politics. His policy agenda includes establishing universal healthcare, protecting the environment, ensuring access to public lands, improving public education, and reviving the American Dream. Trumble is agnostic and a humanist.

Marty Wilde

Running for: Oregon State House (District 11)

Marty Wilde won election to the Oregon State House in District 11. Wilde won the May 15 Democratic primary with 54% of the vote, and earned 57% of the vote in the general election. Wilde is the executive director of a professional medical membership organization and a Colonel in the Oregon Air National Guard, with deployments in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Qatar. He is seeking to bring compassion back to public service to ensure public schools are the top budget priority, safeguard the environment and expand clean energy production, ease the financial burden on families with affordable childcare and paid family leave, and access to in-home health care to allow seniors to stay in their homes and communities. Wilde is a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation and is a member of the secular community.

Pennsylvania

Josh Camson

Running for: Pennsylvania State House (District 147)

Josh Camson ran for the Pennsylvania State House in District 147. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 43% of the vote in the general election. Camson’s legislative agenda is focused on increasing transparency in healthcare, ending the opioid crisis, building a strong public education system from pre-K to employment, reforming the criminal justice system, ending gun deaths, and protecting the environment and public spaces. He is challenging the status quo of legislators “of both parties who cut self-serving backroom deals that only enrich themselves and their favorite lobbyists.” His campaign is seeking to end the practice of “cutting corners so wealthy special interests benefit at the expense of ordinary people.” Camson is Jewish and an ally of the secular community.

Shanna Danielson

Running for: Pennsylvania State House (District 92)

Shanna Danielson ran for the Pennsylvania State House in District 92. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 31% of the vote in the general election. Danielson, who works for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and was a music teacher for seven years, knows first-hand how underfunded the public schools are in the state and is dedicated to protecting and improving public education. Her policy goals also include ending gerrymandering and holding public officials accountable to their constituents, protecting our homes, schools and communities with effective firearms regulations, and providing universal health care and access to reproductive services and education. Danielson is agnostic and a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Dana Hamp Gulick

Running for: Pennsylvania State House (District 97)

Dana Hamp Gulick ran for the Pennsylvania State House in District 97. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 43% of the vote in the general election. An active community volunteer with a successful business career, Dana is “a resourceful problem solver and project manager who is adept at translating ideas into reality.” Her policy goals include fully funding public education, increasing healthcare access and affordability, protecting the environment, supporting workers’ rights, enacting commonsense measures to reduce gun violence, and making sure our elections are fair and secure and that our state legislators are accountable to the people instead of big money and lobbyists. Dana identifies as agnostic.

Bill Leiner

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Pennsylvania – District 15)

Bill Leiner ran for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District; however, he suspended his campaign in March 2018 and endorsed Susan Wild. He is a former Mayor of Coplay, PA and Lehigh County Commissioner. He currently serves on the Coplay Borough Council. Leiner wanted to bring to Congress “the political sensibilities of a successful manager, steelworker, union leader, healthcare leader, community organizer – and a tested problem-solver.” He was raised Catholic, but says that identity is now “dormant.” Leiner is not affiliated with any religion.

Steve Snell

Running for: Pennsylvania State House (District 94)

Steve Snell ran for the Pennsylvania State House in District 94. Snell was unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15, and earned 34% of the vote in the general election. He wants to use his experience and skills as an educator, business executive, and socially involved resident to bring effective, transparent, responsive, and fair leadership to the State House. Snell wants to pass a natural gas extraction tax, eliminate gerrymandering, and end the dysfunctional budget process. He says, “Intense partisanship, the inability to compromise and the desire to get re-elected and re-elected, have hindered our progress” in addressing the state’s problems. Snell is a member of the Unitarian Universalist congregation and is an ally of the secular community.

Rhode Island

Jonathan Hernandez

Running for: Rhode Island State Senate (District 6)

Jonathan Hernandez ran for the Rhode Island State Senate in District 6. In the September 12 Democratic primary Hernandez earned 26% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of three candidates. Born in Providence to immigrants, he “is proud to be a product of RI’s public school system,” has experienced the issues of working and middle-class families firsthand, and wants to help rebuild and reform Rhode Island. Hernandez’s policy priorities include a living wage and the repeal of a tipped wage, statewide funding of public schools and debt-free public college, strengthening Rhode Island’s Ethics Commission, investment in a green economy, supporting women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, legalizing marijuana and addressing the heroin epidemic, and affordable housing. Hernandez is not religiously affiliated.

Rebecca Kislak

Running for: Rhode Island State House (District 4)

Rebecca Kislak won election to the Rhode Island State House in District 4. Kislak won the September 12 Democratic primary with 68% of the vote, and the general election with 88% of the vote. She is seeking public office to “bring my life-long experience working for economic, racial, and reproductive justice to the state house” and “will fight for all Rhode Islanders to have access to a great education, good jobs that pay a living wage, housing that is healthy and affordable, and a healthcare system that works for all of us.” An attorney with a public health background, Rebecca supports investment in conservation and renewable energy, funding public education, expanding access to healthcare, including reproductive rights, helping small businesses, affordable housing, gun safety, and aging in place. Rebecca is Jewish, and shares our values of separation of religion and government.

David Miles Santagata

Running for: Rhode Island State House (District 59)

David Miles Santagata ran for the Rhode Island State House in District 59. In the September 12 Democratic primary Santagata earned 13% of the vote – finishing 2nd in a field of two candidates. As a first-time candidate, he will advocate for a stronger role of science in developing and implementing public policy, and is a firm defender of church-state separation. In addition, Santagata is seeking immigration reform and supports the rights of refugees to ensure that America reflects its values of freedom and justice for all. Santagata is a secular humanist.

South Carolina

Lucy Hoffman

Running for: South Carolina State House (District 10)

Lucy Hoffman ran for the South Carolina State House in District 10. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 12, and earned 23% of the vote in the general election. A small business owner, Hoffman plans to be District 10’s “Education Representative” and “push for everything feasible to improve teachers’ salaries, supplies for students, advanced technology, and more.” In addition to better schools, Hoffman’s policy priorities focus on pushing for an immediate timeline for road and bridge repairs as well as strengthening small businesses. Hoffman is a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation and is an ally of the secular community.

South Dakota

Cory Allen Heidelberger

Running for: South Dakota State Senate (District 3)

Cory Allen Heidelberger ran for the South Dakota State Senate in District 3. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5, and earned 42% of the vote in the general election. Heidelberger’s legislative agenda is focused on increasing the influence of voters by protecting the initiative and referendum process and the ability to circulate petitions and run for office; supporting education to ensure economic development, a vibrant cultural life, and a healthy democracy; and, fighting for equality to “promote liberty, justice, and opportunity for all South Dakotans, regardless of sex, race, or religion.” Heidelberger is an atheist.

George Nelson

Running for: South Dakota State House (District 34)

George Nelson ran for the South Dakota State House in District 34. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5. Born and raised in Arlington, South Dakota, he has lived in Rapid City for over 30 years. A lawyer and father, Nelson is running because he believes in the importance of the two-party system and speaking out for values Democrats believe in. He is a champion for Medicaid expansion in South Dakota to drive economic development and provide healthcare to over 50,000 low income adults in the state. He will also advocate for reforming the criminal justice system to decrease the number of incarcerated people in South Dakota. As Nelson says, “The old way of putting people away for their addictions is not the answer” — there must be increased investment in addiction treatment facilities. Nelson identifies as agnostic.

Brett Ries

Running for: South Dakota State House (District 5)

Brett Ries ran for South Dakota State House in District 5. At 21 years old, Ries is the youngest candidate for the South Dakota state legislature. Born and raised in Watertown, South Dakota, Ries learned a strong work ethic from his farming family and has been an active community member throughout his life. If elected, he will be a researcher, a listener, and a fighter for District 5 in Pierre, and “wants to send a message to youth in the state that they can succeed as young people in South Dakota.” Ries’s campaign is based on three values: equality, community, and opportunity and is “For the people, not the party.” His policy priorities focus on crime prevention and criminal justice reform; funding for quality education, including teachers, gifted education, and college; and government transparency and campaign finance reform. Ries identifies as agnostic.

Justin Roemmick

Running for: South Dakota State House (District 3)

Justin Roemmick ran for South Dakota State House in District 3. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5. A supporter of “freedom, opportunity, and economic prosperity,” Roemmick wants to “give working people and families a voice in Pierre.” He says, “I will be a champion for family issues and the needs of the average person.” Roemmick aims to create legislation that gives incentives for businesses to invest in renewable energy, expands Medicaid in South Dakota, reforms the state’s regressive tax system, supports common sense gun ownership, makes higher education affordable and technical schools tuition-free, implements a living wage of $15 an hour by 2025, and balances the state’s budget. Roemmick identifies as agnostic.

Tennessee

Steve Cohen

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Tennessee 9)

Steve Cohen won re-election to Congress in Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District with 80% of the vote in the general election. A fourth-generation Memphian who has dedicated his life to public service, Cohen filed to run for office on the same day he registered to vote. Taking the values of persistence and determination that living with polio taught him to the Tennessee State Senate and then to the U.S. House of Representatives, Cohen is known as the “Father of the Tennessee Lottery,” as he legalized lotteries in Tennessee to establish an education fund for students in the state. Today he serves on the House Committee on the Judiciary, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and House-Senate Highway Bill Conference Committee. In his twelve-year tenure representing Tennessee’s 9th District in Congress, Cohen has championed bills raising the federal minimum wage, decreasing interest rates for student loans, granting greater access to medical care for children and lower Medicare drug prices, and proclaiming an official apology for slavery and segregation-era laws. Cohen will continue to fight for civil rights and justice for all Americans. Cohen is Jewish and a strong ally of the secular community.

Frankie Floied

Running for: Tennessee State House (District 71)

Frankie Floied ran for the Tennessee State House in District 71. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 22% of the vote in the general election. A veteran with a distinguished career in law enforcement, Floied is an advocate for Medicaid expansion, enhanced funding to build the state’s infrastructure to promote economic development, connecting high-speed internet to our rural schools and communities so our rural students can be competitive with their metropolitan peers, and increasing the minimum wage to ensure it is a living wage. Floied is a Christian and ally of the secular community.

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.

Edward Nelson

Running for: Tennessee State House (District 19)

Edward Nelson ran for the Tennessee State House in District 19. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 25% of the vote in the general election. As a veteran Nelson fought for America; however, when he came back to Tennessee he found “that nobody had been fighting for us. For too long we’ve been ignored by a rigged system full of politicians that listen only to wealthy donors, and not concerns from our communities.” He is going to change this by working to build an economy that works for all Tennesseans, making healthcare a right not a privilege, creating a 21st Century public education system, and advancing civil rights and social justice reforms. Nelson has had a varied religious background, but “is not a believer.”

Texas

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 ran for the Texas State House in District 33. Gunn was unopposed in the Democratic primary on March 6, and earned 35% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for the Texas State House in District 62. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on March 6, and earned 22% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for the Texas State House in District 130. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on March 6, and earned 30% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for the Texas State House in District 23. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary on March 6, and earned 41% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for the Texas State House in District 11. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on March 6, and earned 26% of the vote in the general election. 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.

Kent Lester

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Texas – District 31)

Kent Lester ran for Congress in Texas’ 31st Congressional District. In the March 6 Democratic primary Lester earned 10% of the vote – finishing 4th in a field of four candidates. Lester is a West Point graduate who served 20 years in the Army. Following his military service he became a high school teacher and just recently retired from this career. In his classes he taught his students “how to think, not what to think.” Following the 2016 election, his former students encouraged Lester to run for Congress. Lester’s goal was to “bring the Old-School American Values we believe in back to Capitol Hill. Respect for all, not prejudice against a few. Service to the nation, not shirking one’s duties. Integrity, not double-talk.” Lester was raised in the Episcopal church, but now identifies as agnostic.

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 ran for the Texas House in the 29th District. Presley won the March 6 Democratic primary with 60% of the vote, but suspended his campaign prior to the general election. 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.

Darrell Rodriguez

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Texas – District 4)

Darrell Rodriguez ran for Congress in Texas’ 4th Congressional District – he suspended his campaign in November 2017. Rodriguez is a former public school science teacher and now serves as a school counselor. He was running for congress because “Washington has been controlled by millionaires and special interests for too long. We need teachers, police officers, nurses, social workers, firefighters and other voices at the table making decisions in Congress.” His campaign promoted healthcare for all, comprehensive immigration reform, addressing climate change, and improving education by increasing teacher’s pay and reducing class sizes. Rodriguez was raised Baptist but now is religiously unaffiliated.

Jon Rosenthal

Running for: Texas State House (District 135)

Jon Rosenthal won election to the Texas State House in District 135. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on March 6, and earned 51% of the vote in the general election. 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.

Meghan Scoggins

Running for: Texas State House (District 28)

Meghan Scoggins ran for the Texas State House in District 28. She won the Democratic primary with 81% of the vote on March 3, and earned 46% of the vote in the general election. The first challenger to the Republican incumbent in the past four election cycles, Scoggins is running because she believes, “It’s time to put our focus back on our schools, our families and work in the best interests of everyone who resides in this state.” Raised in the Houston area with experience in legal advocacy, business management, disability rights organizing, and nonprofit and community work, she “wants to take that same passion and drive for improving our community to the Texas State Capitol to represent you and your family.” She advocates for full funding for public education, women’s rights and bodily autonomy, citizens’ rights, marijuana legalization, and workers’ rights and a $15/hour minimum wage. Drawing on her experience working with local party leadership to author a resolution to end religious rituals at the beginning of Democratic Party meetings, Scoggins will be a strong advocate for church-state separation and is a proud member of the Secular Caucus of the Texas Democratic Party. Scoggins identifies as a Christian.

Justin Snider

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Texas – District 6)

Justin Snider ran for Congress in Texas’ 6th Congressional District. In the March 6 Democratic primary Snider earned 7% of the vote – finishing 4th in a field of five candidates. Snider is a successful small business owner and a local community organizer. His experience as a Bernie Sanders delegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention reinforced the need to promote progressive issues and policies at a local level. Snider’s attention quickly turned to his congressional district, which has been represented by Joe Barton for over thirty-four years, and he decided challenging Barton would be a good place to continue his efforts to bring reform and change to our political system. Snider was raised Christian, but now identifies as humanist.

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 works to increase the public’s understanding and participation in their own governance. Williams wants to counter the anti-government rhetoric popular with Texas politicians, restore funding and programs to help those in need, and hold 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.

Utah

Marla Mott-Smith

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Utah – District 4)

Marla Mott-Smith ran for Congress in Utah’s 4th Congressional District; however, she withdrew when Salt Lake City Mayor Ben McAdams entered the race and she endorsed his candidacy. Mott-Smith is a successful small businesswomen and political activist. Her activism includes establishing a nonprofit that advocated for housing and job training for the homeless, and organizing fundraising efforts to support a home for abused women. As the matriarch of a large and diverse family, she very mindful of the need to protect the environment for future generations, expand economic opportunities, and ensure fair and equal treatment for all. She also has a “track record of standing up to bullies,” which is especially needed at this time. Mott-Smith was raised in the Catholic church, but is now religiously unaffiliated.

Vermont

Sarah Copeland-Hanzas

Running for: Vermont State House (Orange District 2)

Sarah Copeland-Hanzas won re-election to the Vermont State House in Orange District 2. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary and is also unopposed in the general election. Copeland-Hanzas was trained as a science teacher and now owns The Local Buzz Cafe. She is an advocate for the integrity of science such as evolution and climate change, maintaining the separation of church and state, advancing the rights of the LGBTQ community, and protecting women’s reproductive rights. Copeland-Hanzas is Methodist and an ally of the secular community.

Dick McCormack

Running for: Vermont State Senate (Windsor District)

Dick McCormack won re-election to the Vermont State Senate in the Windsor District. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14. A 29-year veteran Vermont Senator, he serves on the Senate Committees on Appropriations and Health and Welfare and on the Government Accountability. His previous service includes Senate Majority Leader, Chair of Natural Resources and Energy Committee, Chair of Education Committee, and Co-Chair of Climate Solutions Caucus. McCormack has championed legislation expanding healthcare access, investing in renewable energy, and supporting public schools. He is looking forward to his 13th term in the Vermont Senate to continue to fight for underserved communities, address the opioid epidemic, and expand healthcare in the state. McCormack is also a folk singer, retired adjunct college instructor in History and Government, husband, father, and grandfather. McCormack governs with reason.

Larry Satcowitz

Running for: Vermont State House (Orange-Washington-Addison District)

Larry Satcowitz ran for the Vermont State House in the Orange-Washington-Addison District. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14. A Randolph Selectboard member, long-time resident, and local leader, Satcowitz is committed to excellence in schools, economic growth, and affordable, high-quality healthcare. He will “bring to the Legislature experience, knowledge and an ability to think clearly about complicated issues,” including building a strong education system, developing stable and well-paying jobs to keep young people in the state, and establishing a more efficient healthcare system that works for both employers and employees. Satcowitz is an atheist.

Sam Young

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

Sam Young won 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.

Virginia

Vangie Williams

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Virginia – 1)

Vangie Williams ran for Congress in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District. She defeated two opponents in the Democratic primary on June 12 with 40% of the vote, and earned 44% of the vote in the general election. With family roots reaching back over 300 years in Virginia and as a strategic planner, mother and professional problem solver, Williams “wants the hardworking people in the 1st District to have an economy that works for them and for families to have access to world-class healthcare.” Her policy priorities focus on funding early childhood education and vocational trainings, common sense environmental policy, gun reform, supporting military families and veterans, ensuring equal opportunities for women, immigration reform, protecting civil rights, and fair and unfettered access to high-speed internet. Williams is a Christian, but she identifies “as an American first.”

Washington

Mike Bell

Running for: Washington State House (District 7B)

Mike Bell ran for the Washington State House in District 7B. Bell earned 32% of the vote in the general election. He took on this challenge because, “Over 45 years ago, I volunteered to serve America in the Navy. Now, I’m volunteering again because it’s past time to remove the career-politicians whose judgment is clouded by big corporate money.” Bell is a retired CPA with extensive experience in the healthcare system and in working to keep hospitals and clinics open and serving the community. His other policy goals include improving the lives of seniors and veterans so they don’t have to chose between medicine and food, making quality higher education and trade schools affordable to improve the opportunities for our youth, and restoring the Constitutions’ mandate that “We the people” not corporations govern our nation. Bell identifies as agnostic.

Mona Das

Running for: Washington State Senate (District 47)

Mona Das won election to the Washington State Senate in District 47, earning 50.5% of the vote in the general election. She is seeking this seat because “sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option.” Das says, “It’s time we come together to chart a course for our future that is powerful and inclusive.” Housing is the focus of her campaign because “home ownership is one of the key factors that lifts many people out of the cycle of poverty.” She is advocating for reducing the reliance on property taxes by finding alternative funding sources for public schools, increasing affordable housing, improving housing density planning and expanding public transportation, and empowering local municipalities to protect the rights of renters. Das was raised in a traditional Hindi household, but is now religiously unaffiliated.

Jennifer Goulet

Running for: Washington State House (District 9A)

Jennifer Goulet ran for Washington State’s House of Representatives as the 9th Legislative District State Representative – Position 1. In the general election she earned 32% of the vote. 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.

Robert Hunziker

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Washington – District 8)

Robert Hunziker ran for Congress in Washington’s 8th Congressional District – he suspended his campaign in May 2018. Hunziker was running to counter the corporate interests that dominate the political process. He is a member of WolfPAC and wants to get money out of politics. Leading by example, he refused to take corporate or PAC money, even ours. Hunziker’s progressive agenda includes: to extend the $15 minimum wage that is working in Washington state to the rest of America to promote a living wage for all workers; create jobs while fighting climate change with investments in infrastructure and renewable energy; ensure that everyone has the opportunity to earn a higher degree by making public colleges and universities tuition-free and expand Medicare-for-all to provide good healthcare to every American. Hunziker is an atheist.

Pramila Jayapal

Running for: U.S. House of Representatives (Washington 7)

Pramila Jayapal won re-election to Congress in Washington’s 7th Congressional District with 83% of the vote. The first Indian-American woman in the House of Representatives, she is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and serves on the House Judiciary Committee. “Committed to ensuring that every resident of the district has economic opportunity; fairness and equity; and safe and healthy communities,” Jayapal has championed bills promoting environmental justice, increasing government transparency, strengthening healthcare and sexual assault resources, and combating bigotry against immigrant and minority communities. If re-elected, she will continue to fight for immigration and criminal justice reform, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, environmental protection, affordable housing, a living wage, Medicare expansion, and civil rights for all Americans. Jayapal is a strong ally of the secular community.

Chris Thobaben

Running for: Washington State House (District 18A)

Chris Thobaben ran for the Washington State House in District 18A, earning 44% of the vote in the general election. “A champion for our economy, jobs, education, and our warriors we welcome home,” he has served in the Marine Corps, is a small business owner and supply chain expert, and intends to honor the history of the diverse people who built the District 18 community in the State House. Thobaben’s policy priorities focus on “the 3Es:” economic growth, employment, and education. He will fight for public-private partnerships, leverage his district’s proximity to ports and airports to attract businesses, and invest in vocational training to strengthen the workforce; support veteran training and social service programs and bring veteran issues to the forefront of society; and champion healthcare as a right not a privilege and maintain the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Thobaben was raised Roman Catholic and is now spiritual and an ally of secular community.

James Thomas

Running for: Washington State House (District 35A)

James Thomas ran for the Washington State House in District 35A, earning 42% of the vote in the general election. His campaign is focused on economic development and education. Thomas says, “The idea of saddling our youth with crippling education debt is as ridiculous as it is counterproductive. Educating our youth is an investment in our future that will define our future.” He sees the future of his district in taking advantage of its natural resources to enhance the development of the timber, seafood farming, tourism, and recreation sectors. Thomas is an atheist.

West Virginia

Monica Addington

Running for: West Virginia State House (District 41)

Monica Addington ran for the West Virginia House of Delegates in District 41. In the May 8 Democratic primary Addington earned 13% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of four candidates. 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 ran for the West Virginia State House in District 58. Hahn was unopposed in the May 8 Democratic primary, and earned 25% of the vote in the general election. 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 ran for the West Virginia State Senate in District 17. In the May 8 Democratic primary Salisbury earned 11% of the vote – finishing 3rd in a field of three candidates. 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 ran for the West Virginia House of Delegates in District 42. In the May 8 Democratic primary Vannoy earned 8% of the vote – finishing 4th in a field of four candidates. 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.

Wisconsin

Nanette Bulebosh

Running for: Wisconsin State House (District 27)

Nanette Bulebosh ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly in District 27. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 40% of the vote in the general election. With a career as a journalist, school teacher, and librarian and 30 years as a community volunteer, Bulebosh is passionate about ensuring that all students get a quality public education, protecting the environment and implementing sustainable land management practices, standing up for the right to bargain collectively and earn a fair wage, expanding Medicaid and access to quality and affordable health care, ensuring access to women’s reproductive health care, and restoring Wisconsin as the “gold standard for honest, clean and transparent government.” Bulebosh is religiously unaffiliated.

Kim Butler

Running for: Wisconsin State House (District 28)

Kim Butler ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly in District 28. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 41% of the vote in the general election. Butler says, “I believe an elected official is supposed to serve all their constituents, rich and poor, Republican and Democrat, Christian, Muslim, Atheist and Agnostic, etc.” Her policy priorities include fully funding public education – especially rural public schools, bringing more jobs with family sustaining wages to her district and Wisconsin, providing accessible and affordable healthcare for all, and legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalizing recreational marijuana. Butler is a Christian and ally of the secular community.

Lillian Cheesman

Running for: Wisconsin State House (District 15)

Lillian Cheesman ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly in District 15. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 44% of the vote in the general election. Cheesman is an attorney who volunteers her legal expertise to protect voting rights and is a proponent of STEM education who volunteers her time to mentor high school robotics teams. Her policy priorities include accessible and affordable health care for all, fully funded public schools with salaries for teachers to reflect the professional and important work they do, universal background checks on all gun sales and close the gun show loophole, and restore Wisconsin’s government as a model of honesty and integrity. Cheesman identifies as a secular humanist.

Erica Flynn

Running for: Wisconsin State House (District 84)

Erica Flynn ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly in District 84. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and earned 43% of the vote in the general election. After the 2016 election she became an activist leader in the Indivisible and Not One Penny movements, and led demonstrations against the destructive policies of the Trump administration. Her policy priorities include accepting the Medicaid expansion, creating a state public option healthcare program, restoring funding to the public education system, allowing the refinancing of student loan debt, repairing infrastructure, protecting the environment, and putting kindness and science back into the core of decision making. Flynn was raised Christian and is now religiously unaffiliated.

Joe Lavrenz

Running for: Wisconsin State House (District 53)

Joe Lavrenz ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly in District 53. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14, and earned 37% of the vote in the general election. Running because “we can do better,” Lavrenz’s issue priorities include expanding healthcare access, protecting unions and workers’ rights, funding public schools, and protecting the environment. He says, “All people should be treated equally and I would do my best to speak out to help promote that ideal.” Lavrenz is religiously unaffiliated.

Aaron Matteson

Running for: Wisconsin State House (District 22)

Aaron Matteson ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly in District 22. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14, and earned 36% of the vote in the general election. Matteson’s policy agenda includes making college and technical training affordable, protecting the environment, encouraging the development of small businesses, restoring our infrastructure, giving local municipalities more control of public policy, ending gerrymandering, and expanding Medicaid. Matteson was raised Catholic and is now religiously unaffiliated.

Melissa Sargent

Running for: Wisconsin State House (District 48)

Melissa Sargent won 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.

Wyoming

Charles Pelkey

Running for: Wyoming State House (District 45)

Charles Pelkey won re-election to the Wyoming State House in District 45 with 60% of the vote in the general election. An attorney and former journalist, Pelkey’s battle with breast cancer has shaped his advocacy for expanding healthcare. As Minority Whip, Pelkey has been a strong advocate for education, criminal justice reform, and sensible spending policies. His policy goals also include diversifying Wyoming’s economy through renewable energy and investment in infrastructure, increasing the minimum wage and closing the wage gap, fighting for women’s right to choose and LGBTQ+ rights, and decriminalizing marijuana. Pelkey identifies as agnostic.