Mormons in the Running

Danielle U. Beirne

Danielle U. Beirne

With the election approaching on Tuesday, I’ve been racing to put together a rundown of the candidates who are Mormon around the country.  I know that Kay Atkinson King has done an extensive series on BCC going over the congressional elections, but I think that my summary below has a few additional pieces of information, including both state level elections and information on a few candidates who aren’t actually Mormon but who have significant Mormon connections or were once Mormon — a status that we will probably see more in the future.

First I will summarize the Federal level candidates and then I’ll list the state level candidates state by state, except for Utah, where the number of candidates is so large that I will either have to skip it or do another post later.

As always, I am interested in further information. In some caes I have made assumptions about who is Mormon when complete information isn’t available. When I know that someone is no longer Mormon, I have indicated it.

Incumbents are marked with an * preceding their name.

Federal Candidates

U.S. President

I know that everyone knows about Mitt Romney, and many know about Jon Huntsman, Jr. But the story doesn’t quite stop there.

  • Rocky Anderson — Justice Party
  • Cesar Cisneros — Republican (lost primaries)
  • Jon Huntsman, Jr. — Republican (lost primaries)
  • Edward C. Noonan — American Independent (lost primary, subsequently left party)
  • Mitt Romney — Republican nominee

I’ve left off several other minor candidates who don’t appear to have made the ballot in any state.

U.S. Senate

  • *Mike Crapo — Republican, Idaho [Next election for this seat is in 2016.]
  • Jeff Flake — Republican, Arizona
  • *Orrin Hatch — Republican, Utah
  • *Dean Heller — Republican, Nevada
  • Scott Howell — Democrat, Utah
  • *Mike Lee — Republican, Utah [Next election for this seat is in 2016.]
  • Shaun McCausland — Constitution, Utah
  • *Harry Reid — Democrat, Nevada [Next election for this seat is in 2016.]
  • *Mark Udall — Democrat, Colorado [Next election for this seat is in 2014.] — Does not consider himself LDS, but comes from a historically LDS family.
  • *Tom Udall — Democrat, New Mexico [Next election for this seat is in 2014.]
  • Dave VanderBeek — American Independent, Nevada

Hatch is expected to win. Flake and Heller are ahead, but their races are considered toss ups at Real Clear Politics. If all three win, there will be 7 Mormons in the Senate, and one senator from a historically LDS family.

Already eliminated in the primary or other elections:

  • Dale Ash — Republican, Utah
  • Peter Ashdown — Democrat, Utah
  • Wil Cardon — Republican, Arizona
  • David Chiu — Republican, Utah
  • Greg Sowards — Republican, New Mexico
  • Bob Worsley — Republican, Arizona

U.S. House

  • *Rob Bishop — Republican, Utah 1st
  • *Leonard Boswell — Democrat, Iowa 3rd (member of Community of Christ, fka RLDS Church)
  • Jim Bourland — Constitution, Mississippi 1st
  • *Mo Brooks — Republican, Alabama 5th (convert, wife LDS, no longer considers himself LDS)
  • *Jason Chaffetz — Republican, Utah 3rd
  • *Eni F. H. Faleomavaega — Democrat, American Samoa
  • Floyd Fitzgibbons — American Independent, Nevada 4th
  • Ethan Garafolo — Libertarian, Texas 31st
  • Jonathan Garrard — Constitution, Utah 2nd
  • Chris Henrichsen — Democrat, Wyoming
  • Seth Hollist — Libertarian, Texas 32nd
  • *Darrell Issa — Republican, California 49th (Mother is LDS, he doesn’t consider himself LDS)
  • *Raul Labrador — Republican, Idaho 1st
  • Mia Love — Republican, Utah 4th
  • *Buck McKeon — Republican, California 25th
  • *Jim Matheson — Democrat, Utah 4th
  • Matt Salmon — Republican, Arizona 5th
  • Jay Seegmiller — Democrat, Utah 2nd
  • Soren Simonsen — Democrat, Utah 3rd
  • *Mike Simpson — Republican, Idaho 2nd
  • Kyrsten Sinema — Democrat, Arizona 9th (Gay, inactive Mormon and BYU graduate)
  • Chris Stewart — Republican, Utah 2nd

Bishop, Brooks, Chaffetz, Issa, Labrador, Love, McKeon, Salmon, Simpson and Sinema are all expected to win. Boswell is a toss-up. I haven’t found any information about Faleomavaega’s prospects. Others are expected to lose. [Including, unfortunately, my friend Chris Henrichsen.]

Already eliminated in the primary or other elections:

  • Martin Baker — Republican, Missouri 1st
  • Jay Cobb — Republican, Utah 4th
  • Ryan Combe — Democrat, Utah 1st
  • Robert Cornilles — Republican, Oregon 1st (lost in special election in January)
  • Cherilyn Eager — Republican, Utah 2nd
  • Leonard Fabiano — Republican, Utah 1st
  • Chick Heileson —Republican, Idaho 2nd
  • Gaither Martin — Republican, Arizona 1st
  • Clay Thibodeau — Republican, California 42nd
  • Kenneth Wenger — Republican, Nevada 4th


State Level Candidates


  • *Jon S. Eubanks — Republican, House District 84 (expected to win)


Two of the six current Mormon members of the Arizona Senate, Sylvia Allen and Chuck Gray,  are not running for re-election. One former Mormon, Krysten Sinema, resigned in January to seek a seat in the U.S. House.

  • *Andy Biggs — Republican, Senate District 22 (unopposed)
  • *Rich Crandall — Republican, Senate District 19
  • *Adam Driggs — Republican, Senate District 11
  • *Jerry Lewis — Republican, Senate District 18
  • Bob Worsley — Republican, Senate District 25 (lost in the primary for the U.S. Senate–see above).

Three of the eight current Mormon members of the Arizona House, Kirk Adams, Cecil Ash and Peggy Judd, are not seeking re-election.

  • *Eddie Farnsworth — Republican, House District 12
  • *Tom Forese — Republican, House District 17
  • *Justin Olson — Republican, House District 25
  • *Justin Pierce —Republican, House District 25
  • *Steve Urie —Republican, House District 22


  • Patricia McKeon — Republican, Assembly District 38 (lost in primary)
  • Derrick Roach — Republican, Assembly District 80 (expected to lose to the incumbent Democrat).


The current Mormon in the Colorado Senate, Shawn Mitchell, may not seek re-election because of term limits.

  • Will Hiltscher — Libertarian, House District 56
  • Hanna Kjerengtroen — Libertarian, House District 45


The only Mormon in the Connecticut legislature, Democrat Marie Lopez Kirley-Bey in the House, is not seeking re-election.


The only Mormon in the Georgia House, Doreen Williams, lost her re-election bid in the Democratic primary.



  • Liz Larson — Republican, Senate District 12


The House races in Hawaii are interesting because they feature an unusual Mormon vs. Mormon battle outside of the Intermoutain West.

  • *Danielle U. Beirne — Democrat, House District 47
  • Richard Fale — Republican, House District 47
  • Henry Vincent III — Republican, House District 51



Nine of the 35 members of the Idaho Senate appear to be Mormon. Just one of the nine (John Andreason) is not seeking re-election. Meanwhile two members of the Idaho House are looking to move to the Senate and two additional candidates are also seeking Senate seats.

  • Terry Andersen — Republican, Senate District 29 (lost in primary)
  • *Steven Bair — Republican, Senate District 31
  • Cliff Bayer — Republican, Senate District 21
  • *Dean Cameron — Republican, Senate District 27 (unopposed)
  • *Bart Davis — Republican, Senate District 33 (unopposed)
  • *Lee Heider — Republican, Senate District 24
  • *Brent Hill — Republican, Senate District 34 (unopposed)
  • Fred Martin — Republican, Senate District 15
  • *Dean Mortimer — Republican, Senate District 30 (unopposed)
  • *Monty Pearce — Republican, Senate District 9
  • Kirsten Richardson — Independent, Senate District 8
  • Steven Thayne — Republican, Senate District 8
  • *John Tippets — Republican, Senate District 32 (unopposed)


19 of the 70 members of the Idaho House appear to be Mormon. Five are not running for re-election, two because they are now running for the Idaho Senate. But three additional Mormons are now running for the Idaho House.

  • *Ken Andrus — Republican, House District 28
  • *Linden Bateman — Republican, House District 33
  • *Scott Bedke — Republican, House District 27 (unopposed)
  • *Maxine Bell — Republican, House District 25
  • *Gary Collins — Republican, House District 13 (unopposed)
  • Tom Dayley — Republican, House District 21
  • *Reed DeMordaunt — Republican, House District 14
  • *Julie Ellsworth — Republican, House District 18
  • Larry Larson — Democrat, House District 34
  • *Thomas Loertscher — Republican, House District 32
  • *Lynn Luker — Republican, House District 15
  • Travis Manning — Democrat, House District 10
  • *Mike Moyle — Republican, House District 14 (unopposed)
  • *Pete Nielsen — Republican, House District 23
  • Rex Rammell — Republican, House District 7 (lost in primary)
  • *Dell Raybould — Republican, House District 24
  • *Richard Wills — Republican, House District 23
  • *JoAn Wood — Republican, House District 35


  • Chuck Hockema — Republican, Indiana House District 27


  • *Ralph Watts — Republican, House District 19


  • *Jana Taylor Goodman — Republican, House District 41

Because of redistricting, Goodman ended up in a district combined with that of a fellow female representative, a Democrat, who she is now facing in the general election.


  • Paul Adams — Republican, 2nd Essex and Middlesex Senate District

Also because of redistricting, Adams is seeking a Senate seat instead of re-election to his house seat, which was eliminated in the redistricting process.


  • *Joel Johnson — Republican, House District 97


A Mormon currently in the Montana House, Representative Ken Peterson, is not seeking re-election.

  • *Cary L. Smith — Republican, House District 55



Two Nevada State Senators who are Mormon, Mo Denis and J. P. Hardy, are in seats that don’t come up for re-election until 2014.

  • Janine Hansen — American Independent, Senate District 19
  • Justin Jones — Democrat, Senate District 9
  • *John Jay Lee — Democrat, Senate District 1 (lost primary)


  • *Ira Hansen — Republican, House District 32 (unopposed)
  • Jonathan Hansen — American Independent, House District 4
  • Brent Leavitt — Republican, Assembly Ditrict 7
  • *Lynn Stewart — Republican, House District 22
  • *Melissa Woodbury — Republican, House District 23

New Hampshire

  • *Stella Tremblay — Republican, Rockingham District 4 (lost primary)

New Mexico

  • *John Arthur Smith — Democrat, Senate District 35
  • *Thomas Taylor — Republican, House District 1 (unopposed)


  • *Shawn Lindsay — Republican, House District 30
  • *Dennis Richardson — Republican, House District 4 (BYU Grad, claims is “non-Denominational Christian) (unopposed)
  • *Greg Smith — Republican, House District 57 (unopposed)

South Carolina

  • Alan Delk Clemmons — Republican, House District 107



Neither of the two apparently Mormon politicians in the Senate, Pam Roach (R) and Paul Shinn (D) is up for re-election this year.

  • Rae Lowery — Republican, Senate District 20 (lost in primary)


  • *Tami Green — Democrat, House District 28-2
  • *Paul Harris — Republican, House District 17-2
  • Linda Knighton — Progressive, House District 36-2
  • Jim Thatcher — Republican, House District 45-2

West Virginia

  • *Larry Kump — Republican, House District 59 (unopposed)
  • *Linda Sumner — Republican, House District 27



Two Mormons who are in the Wyoming Senate, Drew Perkins and Ray Peterson, are not up for re-election this year.

  • *Stan Cooper — Republican, Senate District 14
  • *Dan Dockstader — Republican, Senate District 16


In the House, longtime Mormon politician Owen Petersen is not seeking re-election.

  • *Joseph Barbuto — Democrat, House District 48
  • *Kathlen Davison — Republican, House District 18 (unopposed)
  • *Elaine Harvey — Republican, House District 26 (unopposed)
  • *Allen Jaggi — Republican, House District 19 (unopposed)
  • *Robert McKim — Republican, House District 21 (unopposed)
  • Garry Piiparinen — Republican, House District 49 (unopposed)


20 comments for “Mormons in the Running

  1. Tim
    November 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Neil Anderson is running for the Idaho House as a Republican; his bio states he attended Ricks, and he lives in Bingham County, which is mostly LDS.

    I suspect there are others in Eastern Idaho not listed above who are also LDS.

  2. NewlyHousewife
    November 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Is Missouri no longer a state?

  3. November 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Missouri has no Mormon pols, that I was able to find. If you know of someone, let me know.

    And, Tim, I’m not surprised. There are more, but going through all state legislatures takes a lot of time. Now that you mention it, I should add Ricks (as opposed to BYU-Idaho) to my search terms.

  4. P
    November 3, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Arizona also had Will Cardon who lost to Jeff flake in the primaries, they were known nationally for attacking each other quite often. They ironically attend the same ward in Mesa.

  5. November 4, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Gee. I knew that. How did I leave him off?

  6. Geoff - A
    November 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Not a lot of women are there?

  7. Jax
    November 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I noticed the low numbers of LDS females as well… Are they simply not interested in politics? Tied to home/family? Not supported by the LDS population as much as the men?

    Anyone know if the percentage of LDS women involved in politics is higher/lower than the population at large?

  8. Steve Smith
    November 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    You should probably note that Rocky Anderson, presidential candidate from the Justice Party, no longer considers himself LDS.

  9. Tim
    November 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    In Eastern Idaho, most of the women running for office are running as Democrats (and thus don’t stand a chance of winning). I’m guessing most aren’t LDS. The one Republican woman running for the state legislature in my county might be LDS, but I haven’t been able to find enough info on her to know for sure. No church schools in her bio. It certainly appears that very few LDS women around here run for office. My small town mayor and city council are all men, along with almost every other positions voters vote for. Women are engaged in politics, but more in volunteer positions (though some of those women have quite a bit of influence).

  10. Ryan
    November 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Don’t forget Mufi Hannermann in Hawaii, who was Mayor of Honolulu until 2010 and lost the 2012 Democratic primary for Hawaii’s 2nd district.

  11. John Mansfield
    November 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Among those politicians who ever had an LDS connection is Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florida elected in 2010, who was involved with the LDS Church for a few years as a child.

    The small number of state legislators listed for western states other than Idaho is surprising.

  12. WD
    November 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

    You say about the House elections: “Bishop, Brooks, Chaffetz, Issa, Labrador, Love, McKeon, Salmon, Simpson and Sinema are all expected to win. Boswell is a toss-up. I haven’t found any information about Faleomavaega’s prospects. Others are expected to lose.”

    Do you really think that both Stewart and Seegmiller will lose UT-2? That’d be a real upset!

  13. November 5, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Steve (8), I wasn’t aware of that. I would have noted it (but kept him on the list).

    Ryan (10), I am aware of Mufi Hannemann, but I didn’t know he was running again. Thanks!

    John (11), you’re right. I should have added Rubio.

    WD (12), again, my mistake. I realized late that I had left Stewart and Seegmiller off the list, and after adding them, I didn’t go back through what I said about the list and correct it.

  14. Raymond Takashi Swenson
    November 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    If 7% of the Senate becomes LDS, especially if Romney wins the White House, would probably become at least one national story out of the election, in contrast to the treatment Reed Smoot got. Be a heckuva internship situation for BYU poli-sci students. Is there any depth out there among Mormon politicians, so that Mitt Romney is not a one-time phenomenon but just the first of a string of LDS candidates for president?

    I admit I laughed out loud when I saw Rocky Anderson on the presidential ballot here in Washington State.

  15. November 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    “Is there any depth out there among Mormon politicians, so that Mitt Romney is not a one-time phenomenon but just the first of a string of LDS candidates for president?”

    Oh, I thought the list above showed that there is some depth.

    There are even a few millionaires and billionaires who have the financial strength to try what Romney has.

  16. Paul Mouritsen
    November 6, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I don’t see Cresent Hardy on the list for Nevada Assembly District 19.

  17. November 6, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Paul, Hardy’s released information does not give any indication that he is Mormon. How do you know that he is Mormon?

    In cases like this it is often difficult to verify that a politician is Mormon. Can you provide the information I need to verify that he is Mormon?

  18. Paul Mouritsen
    November 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Check this profile from the 12/10 edition of the RJ:

    New lawmaker stresses roots for beliefs


    Incoming Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, R-Mesquite, says he was once “kind of a wild child” but now is more concerned about family and faith.

    Cresent Hardy

    Age: 53

    Party: Republican

    Office: Assemblyman

    District: Clark, No. 20, Mesquite/Boulder City/Las Vegas

    Constituent contact: [email protected], 378-8310

    Occupation: Partner in Legacy Construction Development

    Education: Virgin Valley High School, class of 1975

    Family: Married to wife, Peri Hardy, four adult children, ages 27, 25, 22 and 19

    Notable: Hardy is first District 20 representative from Mesquite since 1969. Seat previously held by Joe Hardy of Boulder City. Cresent and former state Sen. Warren Hardy are related through their great, great, great grandfather. Cresent and Joe Hardy have yet to identify a common ancestor.

    Quotable: “My parents … always told us children you are not entitled to complain unless we are willing to do something about it. I like to complain a little bit, so here I am.”


    Posted: Dec. 28, 2010 | 12:00 a.m.
    Updated: Dec. 28, 2010 | 3:46 p.m.

    Editor’s note: With more new legislators than ever before, Nevada will have some of its freshest political faces coping with the state’s greatest problems. In an occasional series, the Las Vegas Review-Journal introduces the newly elected lawmakers who are about to take office in Carson City.

    Cresent Hardy may be new to the state Legislature, but he’s no greenhorn.

    Hardy, newly elected to represent Assembly District 20 in Clark County, traces his family history in America all the way back to the 1600s when one Thomas Hardy arrived near what is now Essex, Mass.

    His Western roots began with his Mormon ancestors’ migration to Utah in the 1850s.

    And Hardy says his grandfather was the first baby born in what is now Mesquite, the rural Nevada town in the Virgin Valley where he was born, raised and now lives.

    Hardy, 53, says his interest in genealogy helps him keep in mind the principles he wants to emphasize in his first legislative session.

    “It means we respect what people have done for us and helps us not repeat the same mistakes,” Hardy said. “It becomes more personal.”

    Hardy wasn’t always so attentive to his family and faith.

    Although he has deep roots in the Mormon church, Hardy didn’t go on a mission or attend weekly services when he was a young adult. Instead, he worked construction jobs in Las Vegas and made his own way in the world.

    “I was kind of a wild child; I liked to drink and carouse a little bit,” he said.

    After marriage and children, Hardy said he had a private, personal epiphany that prompted him to become more active with the church and more in touch with the Mormon faith.

    He went on to parlay his construction background into a job managing public works for the city of Mesquite and, currently, a partnership in a building site development company, Legacy Construction Development. He’s a partner in an aggregate business.

    He served on water and hospital district boards in the Virgin Valley and two terms on the city council in Mesquite.

    The recession has taken a major toll on Hardy’s business. He says the site development business went from a peak of about $45 million annually in gross receipts to less than $10 million. It shrank from as many as 150 employees to fewer than 25, he said.

    “If we care about this state, then we have to do something different than what we are doing,” he said.

    Hardy thinks the best way for Nevada to recover from the recession is for people to help their families, friends and neighbors and for state government to remain small. He says government assistance should be limited to helping extremely vulnerable people such as the disabled, senior citizens and children from low-income families.

    “My roots go back to taking care of your family, your own, your neighbors,” he said. “I think we give up a lot of freedom when we start building a government to take care of everything for us.”

    Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at [email protected] or 702-477-3861.

  19. November 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Paul, thanks. That is quite clear.

    If I had the time, I’d do a news search for all the candidates listed as running. But that is rather time consuming, to say the least.

  20. November 7, 2012 at 6:01 am

    It appears we have 7 Mormons in the U.S. Senate and 9 in the U.S. House after yesterday’s vote. The biggest uncertainty is in Utah’s 3rd, where Jim Matheson and Mia Love are neck and neck. But either way we have a Mormon in Congress.

Comments are closed.