Megan Hunt

On this date in 1986, political activist and entrepreneur Megan Catherine Hunt was born in Blair, Neb., to Mary Beth (née Arts) and Dan Hunt, respectively a homemaker and president of a telecommunications supply company. Her parents “instilled in her the value of hard work, determination, and the importance of public service.” She was raised Catholic. (

She started attending Dana College in Blair during her senior year of high school as a Presidential Scholar. After earning a B.A. in intercultural communication and German in 2008, she enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s political communication master’s program and coached Blair High School forensics for four years.

Hunt founded Hello Holiday, a boutique and e-commerce company supporting independent fashion designers. It was known for its “Girls Support Girls” messaging and fundraising collaborations with local nonprofits. She decided to run for office after she got involved in a grassroots effort to update the sex education curriculum in Omaha Public Schools in 2015.

She won election in 2018 to Nebraska’s 49-member unicameral legislature with 64% of the vote in an Omaha district. Legislators are called senator, serve without party affiliation or caucuses and make $12,000 plus per diem annually. Senators are limited to two consecutive terms. She was reelected in 2022 by a margin of 69% to 31%. An opponent during the primary season who worked at A Latere Academy, a Christian home-school program, called herself a “Bible-believing Christian” on her campaign site.

Hunt said she broke barriers as the first “out” LGBTQ+ state senator, as a single working parent and as an atheist. “I was really afraid that my colleagues would stereotype me or be hostile toward me because of who I am, but I was wrong. I have found every one of my colleagues amenable, willing to work with me, and I have made several close friends with colleagues who are ideologically very different from me.” (State Innovation Exchange, Jan. 28, 2021)

She describes herself as being on the “far left” of the political spectrum and led a filibuster in April 2022 to defeat a draconian anti-abortion bill. She was among the key opponents of a bill to give full tax credit on donations to private school scholarships, citing the number of religious schools that would benefit, including schools that discriminate against LGBTQ+ youth. “It’s not appropriate for public money, tax dollars, to fund that type of bigotry and discrimination,” Hunt said. (KMTV, Jan. 12, 2022)

In an October 2022 OnlySky interview, she said she’s “a public servant who happens to be an atheist, not a lawmaker who wants to use her platform to promote her personal views.” She wants more emphasis on candidate recruitment and building a pipeline of people who are rational, reasonable and evidence-focused. “Representatives who can actually understand what normal people go through and who aren’t running for office just because they’re motivated by some extremist view or some conspiracy theory, because that’s what we’re seeing more and more nationwide.”

After closing Hello Holiday in 2019, Hunt’s inner entrepreneur kicked in a year later when she, working with her son Ash, started Five Nine, a specialty shop that sells stationery, home goods and practical art built on a belief in the beauty of everyday objects.

She was the recipient in 2022 of an FFRF Champion of the First Amendment award, which she accepted at the national convention in San Antonio. Her mentor, former Sen. Ernie Chambers, received the award in 2006. She publicly called the abortion ban a “church bill” sponsored by Christian religious extremists. “Her impassioned remarks and filibustering were credited with helping to kill the bill. Thanks to her activism, abortion is still legal in Nebraska,” FFRF said.

Freedom From Religion Foundation