There are two candidates running for Congress tonight who are open atheists. I’ll be covering the results of their elections all night. Keep refreshing this page for more information!
Name: Pete Stark (Democrat)
Running for: California’s newly-redistricted 15th Congressional District
Opponent: Eric Swalwell (also a Democrat). Swalwell has used Stark’s opposition to reaffirm “In God We Trust” as our national motto against him.
Tidbits: Stark came out as a “non-theist” in 2007, making him the first sitting member of Congress to ever do so. In addition to recognizing the National Day of Reason on the floor of Congress, he spoke (via video) at the Reason Rally earlier this year. Stark has served in Congress since 1973, making him the longest-serving Congressperson currently from California (and fifth longest-serving overall).
Election results: With 42% of the precincts reporting, Stark is currently losing his race:
Name: Kyrsten Sinema (Democrat)
Running for: Arizona’s newly-created 9th Congressional District
Opponent: Vernon Parker (Republican) and Powell Gammil (Libertarian).
Tidbits: Sinema is believed to be both an atheist and bisexual, though she hasn’t spoken about either in her capacity as a politician. Sinema has received an award from the Center for Inquiry for the Advancement of Science and Reason in Public Policy and she was present at the opening of the Secular Coalition for Arizona. She was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 2005-2011 and a member of the Arizona Senate from 2011-2012. (She resigned from the state Senate earlier this year to run for Congress.)
Election results: With 97% of precincts reporting, Sinema’s lead is slight but still steady: