Another Candidate for Arizona State House Comes Out as an Atheist

Mar 4, 2016

Photo credit: Facebook

By Hemant Mehta

Arizona seems to be the state where atheist politicians come out to play.

This month, we’ve already seen candidacy announcements from atheists Cara Prior (State House) and Scott Prior (State Senate).

We can now add Athena Salman to that list. She’s running for the seat currently held by another atheist politician Juan Mendez, who will be running for State Senate himself.

Speaking to the Secular Student Alliance at Arizona State University this week, Salman went public with her own atheism as she told the group that she would be running for the State House in District 26. Mendez sat next to her as she gave her speech.

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4 comments on “Another Candidate for Arizona State House Comes Out as an Atheist

  • This article is deemed news worthy only in the US, but around the rest of the comparable world, its a yawn. Australia has already had 3 openly atheist Prime Ministers going back to 1981. The fact that this article is news worthy in America, reflects on the “Norm” of American society which tends to hide behind the door as civilizations advances around the rest of the world.

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  • Hi, first sorry for my english, I try as hard as I can but i’m sure there is lots of errors.
    I’m not an american and even if in France Atheism isn’t a big deal but a truth commonly accepted I can only wish for you American fellow atheist that more and more politician will throw the heavy burden of religion in politics.
    I have a proposition to offer you, Come back from Mc Carthy era and take back the old USA motto:
    As it was once said: Good night and good luck!

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  • @OP – This month, we’ve already seen candidacy announcements from atheists Cara Prior (State House) and Scott Prior (State Senate).

    However Arizona also seems to be making the news with dubious election activities!

    Officials in Arizona are asking the US Department of Justice to investigate the lack of polling stations in poor or minority areas during the state’s primary.

    Voters in Maricopa County experienced long waiting times during the presidential primary, and some people were turned away after waiting.

    In some spots across the county, voters waited for up to five hours on Tuesday.

    Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, called the queues “unacceptable”.

    “Our election officials must evaluate what went wrong. And how they can make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Mr Ducey said on Twitter.

    In 2012, the county – which includes Phoenix, the state’s largest city – had 200 polling places.

    Phoenix is a predominately Democratic area. In Maricopa County, about 1.2 million people are eligible to vote, but there were only 60 polling places.

    Arizona’s Republican-led legislature decided to lower the number of polling places to save money, officials said.

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called the queues a “disgrace” and has expressed concerns that the long lines hurt his showing in the state.

    Rival Hillary Clinton won the state by 18 percentage points.

    In the past, the federal government would have to approve any changes made to Arizona’s election rules because of the state’s history of discriminating against minority voters.

    However, a 2013 US Supreme Court decision that did away with much of the Voting Rights Act, allowing Arizona and other states to adjust voting rules without oversight.

    Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said he wants the Justice Departments investigate whether elections officials illegally cut polling stations in poor and minority-concentrated areas.

    He wrote in a letter to the Justice Department that elections officials and the state lawmakers have created “a culture of voter disenfranchisement“.

    Maricopa County top election official Helen Purcell initially blamed voters, then took it back, accepting responsibility for the long queues.

    Ah! This much acclaimed US democracy!!!

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