Satanic Temple candidate loses primary bid

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ANTELOPE VALLEY, Calif.– Steve Hill, the first open Satanic Temple (TST) member to run for office, was defeated in the June 7 California State Senate primary for the 21st district. Mr. Hill faced off against fellow Democrat Scott Wilk.

Hill received 12% of the vote, amounting to just over 13,000 voters who supported his bid for State Senate.

Steve Hill [Courtesy Photo]

Steve Hill [Courtesy Photo]

Although Hill did not win the primary and was, according to him, shunned by Democratic Party officials, the Los Angeles Chapter of TST saw his campaign as a positive step:

Our very own Steve Hill ran as a Democrat for California State Senate in the 21st district/Antelope Valley. He is the first openly Satanic, black political candidate in U.S. history. According to the 2015 census, Antelope Valley is largely white and Hispanic with roughly 20% of the populace being African American, it also boasts the largest concentration of churches per capita in California. The mayor of the City of Lancaster, Rex Parris has decreed Lancaster to be a ‘Christian City,’ a statement from a public official, that is in direct violation of the first amendment.

On election day, Steve secured 12% of the vote. Over 13,000 people in this small community went to the polls to support his campaign. Not only was this a huge victory for Steve, but it clearly shows that a substantial cross section of this community has, until now, been without a voice. The city officials in Antelope Valley have now heard that voice loud and clear. Steve’s campaign and our recent actions in Lancaster are a pretext to a series of legal and political actions in the valley. They are a reflection of the greater vision of The Satanic Temple which is nothing short of a revolution. A SATANIC REVOLUTION!

Hill may be the first open TST member to run for office, but others may soon join him. TST spokesman Lucien Greaves said that although he doesn’t know of any members who are elected officials in the US, “…every day, we’re being told of new plans for credible people within our membership to make a run for various public offices.”

According to Hill’s bio, he is an atheist and is currently helping to organize an L.A. chapter for TST. In his career, he has served in the United States Marine Corps, then worked as a civilian in the aerospace industry. After that he worked for the California Department of Corrections and is now a business owner and comedian. The focus of his campaign was alleviating poverty and protecting civil liberties.

The Satanic Temple is often at the forefront of First Amendment, civil rights, and anti-child abuse issues, using a combination of savvy public relations, humor, and lawsuits. TST is known nationally for challenging organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church, which regularly holds anti-gay protests at military funerals, and for creating a large statue of Baphomet specifically to sit alongside the large Ten Commandments sculpture at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

More recently, TST is reportedly making waves in Pensacola, Florida, where member David Suhor is listed on the city council’s July invocation schedule. In 2014, Suhor made headlines when he delivered a Pagan invocation at an Escambia County Board of Commissioners meeting. As noted in the RNS article, the Pensacola city council is now rethinking its inclusive invocation policy in order to allegedly “stop [Suhor] from delivering his message.” In early 2016, TST members forced a similar action in Phoenix, Arizona.

Although the Satanists say they do not worship the devil, they do claim status as a religious group and do have a clearly defined mission. That mission is “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people.” In addition, they “embrace practical common sense and justice.”

Despite Hill’s loss in California, the Satanic Temple has said that more temple members are planning future campaigns for public office.

Hill was unavailable for comment.