SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — State Senate candidate Steve Hill wants voters to know one thing: this is not a joke.
The comedian and former U.S. Marine is running to replace Republican Sharon Runner in California’s 21st District – which includes Santa Clarita, Lancaster, Apple Valley and Victorville – after Runner announced she would not be running for reelection.
Hill, a Democrat who spent 10 years working in the California Department of Corrections as a prison guard following his time in the Marine Corps, is also an avowed atheist and organizer for the Satanic Temple.
While there is no mention of any affiliation with the Temple on his official campaign website, there are several mentions of Hill’s campaign on the Los Angeles Satanic Temple’s Facebook and Twitter pages, including one post describing the candidate as “The Satanic Temple’s own Steve Hill”.
Another post on the Temple’s Facebook page asks followers to “consider donating a few bucks to Steve’s campaign, and give him all the support you can muster!”
Technically claiming to be an “freethinking, skeptical, secular humanist” Hill told Time Magazine he wants voters to know he’s not part of the political religious establishment.
“I’m a Satanist as far as trying to get people to understand that I don’t believe in the devil any more than I believe in God,” he said. “All of it is stupid. But if I have to tell people I’m the devil to get them to listen, then, OK, I’m the devil.”
In addition to his anti-religion platform, Hill says he’s also wants to improve funding for education, reform incarceration laws, and focus on small businesses and start-ups to bolster the economy.
Hill ran as a write-in candidate in a 2015 special election for the 21st District seat and came in second place with just under four percent of the vote.