Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., the only openly atheist member of Congress, lost his race for another term on Tuesday (Nov. 6).

But nonbelievers will not remain unrepresented in the Capitol. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, a former Arizona state senator, Mormon-turned-nontheist and a bisexual, has narrowly won her pitch for a House seat by 2,000 votes. …

…Speckhardt said Stark’s achievements for nontheists include his opposition to the war in Iraq and his support of health care reform and civil rights. He also worked for congressional recognition of Darwin Day and the National Day of Reason, which nontheists observe to promote science education and critical thinking. …

Sinema, 36, has much in common with Stark ideologically. Having previously served as both an Arizona state senator and representative, she has a long record of supporting women’s rights, marriage equality, gay rights and science education.