Asheville City Council Election Update November 3, 2009

Asheville City Council Election Update

I know there are more important elections happening out there right now (you did vote No on 1 if you live in Maine, right?), but there’s an update on the City Council race in Asheville, NC.

This was the race in which atheist Cecil Bothwell was up against forces using his non-theism against him.

So what happened?

Challengers Esther Manheimer, Gordon Smith and Cecil Bothwell are virtually assured of election in the race for three open seats on City Council with all but one of the city’s 37 precincts reporting.

It’s not an official done deal yet, but it’s looking good.

Another openly-atheist politician has won on Election Day.

This wasn’t about his atheism pulling him over the top. This was about his atheism not bringing him down. It didn’t, and that’s good news for all of us.

It offers a bit of hope for other atheists who may soon run for local office.

Congratulations to Bothwell, who really wants to thank everyone who voted for him 🙂

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  • Twewi

    No on 1 lost. 🙁

  • Takma’rierah

    This is an issue that I see on a personal level here, as apparently my partner’s father would like to run for Beloit city council but won’t because of his non-theism, even though he’s well-known in the community. I hope that some day he might decide to try it anyway.

  • I dropped from first in the primary to third in the general — in part due to a smear campaign that included charges of “godless atheist!” But third was good enough (three seats up for election this year) and I was 20 percent ahead of #4.

    thanks to all of the FA readers who donated to the campaign in the past week or so. I really appreciate the nationwide support.

    Takma’rierah, “post-theist” is a less inflamatory descriptor. Conservative religionists have attached so much baggage to “atheist” that it has lost its original meaning to the general public. Just a thought.

  • Jim

    Congratulations Cecil!

  • jemand


    On the naming issue, I think some of us dreamers like to think we might be able to shake the baggage loose from “atheist” so keep using it. If we abandon the term because of what religious people have associated with it to tarnish the name… they’ll just have a blueprint for doing it to the next name anyway.

  • muggle

    Congratulations, Cecil!

    I agree with Jemund but I do also like post-theist. That’s kind of nice but it does give a false impression that theism is dead. It’s dying but not dead yet. I do love the optimism of it, though. 😉

    For now, I’m sticking with Atheist capital A but this will change if it ever gets declared a religion officially. I will not associate myself with any concept of the evil that is organized religion.

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