Open Atheists Running for Office Had a Great Night in Their Arizona and Florida Primaries August 31, 2016

Open Atheists Running for Office Had a Great Night in Their Arizona and Florida Primaries

There are several openly atheist candidates running for state and national office this year, and a number of them come from Arizona. Last night were the primaries in that state and Florida (where there was one openly atheist candidate), and there was plenty of good news to go around.

Enjoy it while it lasts since many of them face a very difficult path to victory in November.


Mikel Weisser (AZ-4) was running for U.S. Congress.

He ran unopposed (with one write-in candidate) and will be the Democratic nominee in November:


His opponent will be incumbent Republican Rep. Paul Gosar. It’s a rematch of their 2014 race (which Weisser lost 70% to 25%).


Juan Mendez was running for Arizona State Senate in District 26.

Since he was also an incumbent legislator in the Arizona House, he was giving up that seat for a chance to run in the Senate race… and the bet appears to have paid off.


The Republicans are not running a candidate in the race, so Nebraska’s Ernie Chambers could see another openly atheist State Senator very soon…


Scott Prior was also running for Arizona State Senate in District 16. He ran unopposed and will face incumbent Republican David Farnsworth in November.


This will be a rematch of their 2014 race, which Farnsworth won 66% to 34%.


Beth Weisser was running for Arizona State House in District 5. She ran unopposed and skated to victory.


The four Republicans vying for that party’s nomination were neck and neck last night — each receiving at least 20% of the votes — but it seems like an uphill climb for Weisser no matter who she faces since this is a very red District. The top two vote-getters in the GOP primary will run in the general election, and the top two vote-getters overall will become representatives. Both may be from the GOP.


Cara Prior was running for Arizona State House in District 16. Since there were only two Democrats running, Prior was automatically declared one of the winners, though she earned slightly fewer votes than her colleague.


She will face off in November against her Democratic colleague and the top two Republicans. Because this is also a very conservative District, the two Republicans, whoever they are, will be very difficult to beat.


Athena Salman was running for Arizona State House in District 26 (This is the seat currently held by Rep. Juan Mendez). She had a difficult four-way primary, but came out on top (she only needed to be in the top two to move on):


She and her Democratic colleague will face one Republican in the general election, so she has a real shot at earning a seat in the House.


Beth Tuura was running for Florida State House in District 47. She won a plurality of the votes against two other opponents.


Tuura will face incumbent Republican Mike Miller in the general election. In 2014, Miller won a very close race against a different Democrat, 52% – 48%. Definitely a race to watch in November.


As I’ve said many times before, no one should vote for these politicians because they’re atheists, but if you agree with their politics, the fact that they’re open about their non-religiosity is a breath of fresh air. Best of luck to them all.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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