Running for Office

Having atheists and humanists run professional and effective campaigns for public office is an important method to remove the unjustified bias against our community and promote the public policies that are important to secular Americans. Do not let your secular identify prevent you from running for office.

A few helpful guidelines for running for office can be found below.

Survey your time and talents to determine what elected and/or appointed public office would be the best fit for you. Talk to your family, friends, and political contacts to determine the best position to seek and time to run. Running for office is a serious commitment and must be done with appropriate planning and personal resolve.

Generally, there are two types of campaigns: running to win (the incumbent is weak or it is an open seat) or running to educate (facing an entrenched incumbent – but there is an opportunity to promote policy issues and remove the bias against atheists and humanists). Both types of campaigns are important, but you should analyze the race to determine the type of campaign you are facing.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) provides information on running a federal campaign. For state campaigns, resources can be found through your state’s Secretary of State, who can provide information on election calendars, election laws, filing fees and procedures, and campaign finance. Contact your city or county government for information on local election procedures and requirements.

Additional resources can be obtained from your national, state, and local political parties.

Organizations such as 314 Action (scientists), Run for Something (under 35 years old), Victory Institute (LGBTQ), Emerge America (women), Emily List (women), Higher Heights for America (African-American women), Latino Victory Project (Latino), and Wellstone Action provide leadership and electoral training programs. Democracy for America provides recordings of their training sessions here. Contact the Freethought Equality Fund for possible financial support for this type of training.