September 8th, 2016
Candidates in Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Vermont are Openly Nontheistic
Contact: Ron Millar, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-238-9088 ext. 201
(Washington DC, Sept. 8, 2016)—The Freethought Equality Fund Political Action Committee is proud to announce its latest endorsements for state races in Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Vermont: Melissa Sargent, an agnostic; Tim Smith, a lifelong atheist; and Sam Young, an agnostic, respectively. These candidates, who are openly nontheistic, are part of the rapidly growing demographic of “nones” that are now one quarter of the U.S. population.
“Pew Research Center reports that the trend of religious unaffiliation in America is continuing to grow. As our nation’s population becomes increasingly secular, we will see more openly atheist and agnostic candidates running for public office,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the Freethought Equality Fund PAC. “Sargent, Smith,Young and the other candidates endorsed by the Freethought Equality Fund are the first wave of candidates and elected officials who identify with and will represent this growing secular constituency.”
Melissa Sargent, who identifies as agnostic, is an incumbent running for Wisconsin State Assembly—District 48. She was first elected in 2012 and is serving in her second 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. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary and is also unopposed in the general election.
Tim Smith, an atheist, is an incumbent running for the New Hampshire State House—Hillsborough District 17. He is 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 second 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 promoted a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United US Supreme Court decision. He is running with one other Democrat, against three Republicans, for the two seats in the district.
Sam Young, who was raised Christian and currently identifies as agnostic, is an incumbent running for Vermont State House—Orleans-Caldonia 1 District. He was first elected in 2010 and is serving in his third 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. He faced one opponent in the top two Democratic primary, and two candidates will be elected from this district in the general election.
More information about the candidates endorsed by the Freethought Equality Fund PAC can be found here.
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 humanist and atheists, and their allies, in public office at all levels of government. FEF supports progressive candidates who are strong advocates for the separation of religion and government and the protection of American’s 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.