Continued Gains for Humanists and Atheists in the 2022 Election

The humanist and atheist community continued to see electoral gains in the 2022 election. Once the newly elected candidates are sworn into office in early 2023, there will be seventy-two elected officials who are public about their humanist, atheist, and nonreligious identity serving in Congress and state legislatures in thirty states. Prior to the 2016 election there were only five elected officials serving in state legislatures who publicly identified with the humanist and atheist community. After the 2016 election, that number grew to seventeen, forty-seven after the 2018 election, and sixty-three after the 2020 election.

The list of elected officials who identify with our community can be seen at the end of this article. These public servants use a variety of identifiers from our community including: humanist, atheist, agnostic, secular, nonreligious, culturally Jewish, secular Buddhist, religiously unaffiliated, and spiritual but not religious. All share the values of our community for a pluralist democracy, the separation of church and state, social and economic justice, and evidence-based public policy.

More than a quarter of our country’s population now identifies as religiously unaffiliated, and we are making our values known at the ballot box and are running for office. As the atheist and humanist community becomes more involved in the political and electoral arena, we will help create a safer, saner, stronger, and more secular America.

The Center for Freethought Equality, the political and advocacy arm of the American Humanist Association, applauds the successes of humanist, atheist, and agnostic candidates like Monique Priestley, who won a seat in the Vermont State House; Bob Carter, who won a seat in the Montana State House; and Elinor Levin, who won a seat in the Iowa State House. They will join members of the humanist and atheist community who won re-election like Howard Watts, a state representative in Nevada; Megan Hunt, a state senator in Nebraska; Juan Mendez, a state senator in Arizona; Julie Mayfield, a state senator in North Carolina; and Jared Huffman, a member of the U.S. Congress from California. We are also very pleased that Eric Sorensen, who identifies as spiritual but not religious, won a seat in the U.S. Congress from Illinois’ 17th Congressional District. These, and many other, candidates were identified and supported by the Center for Freethought Equality’s political action committee (PAC), the Freethought Equality Fund. Become a member of the Center for Freethought Equality–membership is FREE–at to learn about the activities of the PAC and the candidates it supports.

The Center for Freethought Equality is proud of all the humanist, atheist, agnostic, and nonreligious candidates who ran for office this year, and the growing engagement of our community in the political process. The Center for Freethought Equality website has information on how you can increase your political engagement and how to run for office.

A list of current humanist and atheist federal, state, and local elected officials can be found here. The newly elected humanists and atheists will be added to this list once they are sworn into office in early 2023. In addition to the federal and state elected officials this list includes over thirty local elected officials. If you are, or know of, humanist and atheist elected officials who are not on this list please let CFE know using this form.

Nadya Dutchin, executive director of the Center for Freethought Equality and the American Humanist Association, said, “As the humanist and atheist community continues to grow and becomes more engaged in the electoral arena, including serving in public office, our nation’s public policies will reflect the values of our community to prioritize social, economic, and environmental justice using evidence-based solutions. Building political power for the humanist and atheist community will establish a more equitable and sustainable future for America.” Dutchin continued, “Our open participation will also increase the visibility of humanists and atheists and help remove the lingering bias that still exists against our community.”

I also want to give special thanks to Hemant Mehta (the Friendly Atheist) for his great reporting that facilitated the creation and the continued expansion of the list of humanist and atheist elected officials. You can see his articles at

2023 Humanist, Atheist, and Nonreligious Elected Officials

U.S. House of Representatives

Jared Huffman (CA-2)
Eric Sorensen (IL-17)

Arizona State Senate

Juan Mendez (District 8)

Arizona State House

Melody Hernandez (District 8)
Jennifer Longdon (District 5)
Athena Salman (District 8)

California State Assembly

Alex Lee (District 24)

Colorado State Assembly

Judy Amabile (District 49)
Chris Kennedy (District 30)
Karen McCormick (District 11)
Jennifer Parenti (District 19)
Brianna Titone (District 27)
Stephanie Vigil (District 16)

Connecticut State Assembly

Josh Elliott (District 88)
Roland Lemar (District 96)

Delaware State House

Paul Baumbach (District 23)
Eric Morrison (District 27)

Florida State House

Anna Eskamani (District 42)

Hawaii State Senate

Stanley Chang (District 9)

Idaho State Senate

Geoff Schroeder (District 8)

Iowa State House

Elinor Levin (District 89)

Maine State Senate

Pinny Beebe-Center (District 12)

Maine State House

Lois Galgay Reckitt (District 122)
Lynne Williams (District 14)

Maryland State House

Brook Grossman (District 2B)
David Moon (District 20)
Julie Palakovich Carr (District 17)

Massachusetts State Senate

William Brownsberger (Second Suffolk and Middlesex)

Massachusetts State House

Jim Hawkins (Bristol District 2)
Tram Nguyen (Essex District 18)

Michigan State Senate

Jeff Irwin (District 15)

Michigan State House

Joey Andrews (District 38)

Minnesota State Senate

Jen McEwen (District 8)

Minnesota State House

Mike Freiberg (District 43B)

Montana State House

Bob Carter (District 98)

Nebraska State Senate

Megan Hunt (District 8)

Nevada State Assembly

Rochelle Nguyen (District 10)
Howard Watts (District 15)

New Hampshire State House

Amanda Bouldin (Hillsborough District 25)
Jacqueline Chretien (Hillsborough District 41)
Sherry Dutzy (Hillsborough District 6)
Kat McGhee (Hillsborough District 35)
Ellen Read (Rockingham District 10)
Carry Spier (Hillsborough District 6)

New Jersey State Senate

Andrew Zwicker (District 16)

New Mexico State Senate

William Soules (District 37)

New York State Senate

Jabari Brisport (District 25)

New York State Assembly

Harvey Epstein (District 74)

North Carolina State Senate

Julie Mayfield (District 49)

Oregon State House

Julie Fahey (District 14)
Zach Hudson (District 49)
Pam March (District 5)
Courtney Neron (District 26)

Pennsylvania State House

Emily Kinkead (District 20)
Chris Rabb (District 200)
Mark Rozzi (District 126)

Texas State House

Jon Rosenthal (District 135)

Utah State Senate

Nate Blouin (District 13)

Utah State House

Ashlee Matthews (District 37)

Vermont State Senate

Dick McCormack (Windsor District)
Becca White (Windsor District)

Vermont State House

Kathleen James (Bennington-4 District)
Monique Priestley (Orange-2 District)
Barbara Rachelson (Chittenden-14 District)
Mike Rice (Bennington-Rutland District)
Larry Satcowitz (Orange-Washington-Addison District)
Robin Scheu (Addison-1 District)

Washington State House

Beth Doglio (District 22-1)
Strom Peterson (District 21-1)

Wisconsin State Senate

Melissa Agard (District 16)
Kelda Roys (District 26)

Wisconsin State Assembly

Francesca Hong (District 76)