Nonreligious Oregon State House Candidates Earn Endorsement from Secular PAC

April 21st, 2016

Oregon Democratic primary to be held on May 17, 2016.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Ron Millar, 202-238-9088 ext. 201rmillar@humanistactivism.org

(Washington, D.C., April 21, 2016)—The Freethought Equality Fund (FEF) PAC is endorsing three candidates running for open seats in the Oregon House of Representatives: Julie Fahey (District 14), Diego Hernandez (District 47) and Pam Marsh (District 5). The Democratic primary for these candidates will be held on May 17. “All of these candidates for the Oregon State House demonstrate a commitment to giving the secular community a voice in the public sphere and promote public policy based on evidence and reason,” said FEF Executive Director Roy Speckhardt.

Julie Fahey is seeking election to Oregon’s 14th State House District. Fahey, who doesn’t identify with any religion, believes “critical thinking and science can best help us understand our world.” Her public policy decisions will be “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 will be a “tireless voice against discrimination in all its forms.” Fahey has spent the last 15 years in the private sector helping businesses and nonprofits pay and treat their employees fairly to create positive work environments. This is an open seat with the current incumbent running for Oregon’s Secretary of State.

Diego Hernandez is seeking election to Oregon’s 47th State House District. Hernandez, who was raised Catholic, is now an agnostic. He is a strong supporter of the separation of church and state and believes that public policy should be “subject to argument, and amenable to reason.” He is dedicated to supporting education, community safety, and an economy that supports working families and small businesses. He received a BA in Political Science and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon and a Masters in Social Work at Portland State University. He has worked as a middle and high school teacher and was elected to the school board. Hernandez is currently the Co-Executive Director of Momentum Alliance, a nonprofit that develops young civic leaders. This is an open seat with the incumbent running for another elective office.

Pam Marsh is seeking election to Oregon’s 5th State House District. She is not affiliated with a religious organization and believes that “one’s religious views are irrelevant to public office.” Marsh has been an Ashland City Council member since 2012, and she is a small business owner 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, and increasing affordable housing and the minimum wage. She will promote legislation to address climate change by fostering an energy economy based on renewable resources and emerging technologies. The current Democratic incumbent is retiring and Marsh is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

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The mission of the Freethought Equality Fund (FEF) is to change the face of American politics and to achieve equality by increasing the number of open humanists and atheists, and their allies, in public office at all levels of government. FEF supports progressive candidates that are strong advocates for the separation of religion and government and the protection of American civil liberties. FEF is affiliated with the Center for Freethought Equality, which is the advocacy and political arm of the American Humanist Association. To learn more about the Freethought Equality Fund, visit Facebook and Twitter.