Three more politicians running for their state legislatures have come out as atheists ahead of either their primary or general election. The Freethought Equality Fund has endorsed all three.
Jennifer Goulet (Washington State House — District 9, Position 1)
Goulet identifies as an atheist and has been active in many secular groups including the Tri-City Freethinkers, Secular Coalition for Washington and Mid-Columbia Coalition of Reason. She is also on the board of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho. Goulet says, “Any time religion interferes with the wellbeing and rights of others, I am there to push back.” In addition to the separation of government and religion, Goulet advocates for a stronger K-12 public education system and affordable college, ensuring a living wage, and fostering the development and use of energy from clean and renewable sources to curb climate change. Goulet faces two opponents, including the Republican incumbent, in the top two primary on August 2.
You can donate to her campaign right here.
Gayle Jordan (Tennessee State Senate — District 14)
Gayle Jordan is seeking election to Tennessee’s State Senate, District 14. She identifies as an atheist and humanist, and is a member of Murfreesboro Freethinkers. Jordan is an attorney and serves as the executive director of Recovering From Religion. Jordan says she has “watched the legislature of my beloved state govern with unkind, uncaring, and unnecessary legislation, costing the state millions of dollars in legal battles. I listened as they made divisive and hateful statements regarding immigrants, refugees, members of the LBGT community, women, the uninsured, and the poor.” She is running to correct these injustices and end intrusive government overreach. Jordan is unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 4.
Perrin Swanlund (California State Assembly — District 34)
Perrin Swanlund is seeking election to California’s 34th State Assembly District. Swanlund identifies as an atheist, and was motivated to run because the current incumbent made national headlines when she said the drought was God’s wrath at abortion laws. “Although she is termed out,” Swanlund said, “her brand of religious conservatism will continue in her successor if we fail to act.” Swanlund is running on a progressive platform of reforming the state prison system, addressing the water crisis, and implementing a single-payer healthcare system. If successful in November, Swanlund would be the youngest member of the Assembly in modern times. He has just graduated high school and plans to be an English and political science major at the University of California-Davis. Swanlund placed second in the blanket primary on June 7 and will proceed to the general election.
You can donate to his campaign right here.
No matter how this all plays out, there are undoubtedly more open atheists running for office this year than ever before in American history. It’s wonderful to see. The next step is getting some of them elected.
We’ll be keeping tabs on all of them as they go through their primaries and beyond.