Republican State Senate Candidate Chris Spencer at Odds With Trump on Immigration, Other Issues

Chris Spencer

A Republican state senate candidate is at odds with former President Donald Trump, who is running for reelection, on several key points.

Chris Spencer is running for state senate in District 18, encompassing Sumner and Trousdale Counties. He is challenging Speaker Pro Tempore Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin).

Spencer’s website boasts tough talk on issues like illegal immigration.

“The invasion on our southern border is a threat to our security and health of all Tennesseans,” the site says. “I will always put Tennesseans first before illegals.”

But on a podcast called “Nurses Out Loud” in November of last year, Spencer (pictured above) softened his position, saying “there has to be legal ways we can allow workers to stay” in the United States instead of deporting them.

Trump has vowed to deport 15 to 20 million illegal aliens if he is reelected.

On the same podcast a few weeks earlier, Spencer criticized Trump’s handling of COVID-19, saying that “…one of the biggest mistakes President Trump did was to allow [Anthony] Fauci and the rest of them to overtake his administration.”

However, Trump never supported initiatives like mandatory vaccination or mask mandates during the pandemic.

Just weeks ago, the 45th president vowed to cut federal funding to “woke” schools, including those that have vaccine or mask mandates.

“On day one, I will sign a new executive order to cut federal funding for any school pushing critical race theory, transgender insanity, and other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content onto the lives of our children,” Trump said at Turning Point Action’s “The People’s Convention” in Michigan on June 15. “And I will not give one penny to any school that has a vaccine mandate or a mask mandate.”

On the topic of “wokeness,” Spencer sold his own company, Basketball Promotions and Events, LLC, which received more than $41,000 in PPP loans during the pandemic that were later forgiven, to a company called Fastlane in May of 2021.

He later accepted the role of director of Promotions & Events at Fastlane.

Fastlane places a great emphasis on its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs.

“We come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and recognize that when we all come together, we can accomplish our goals,” according to the company. “Different cultures, diversity, equity, and inclusion are the pillars of our workforce and we champion inclusive strategies to drive value and impact. These ideas make us who we are.”

One effort the company brags about is its WiT [Women in Technology] CloudPower Scholarship Program.

“There is an employment, pay, and culture gap for women in the technology field and part of our mission as an educator is to find ways to help close that gap,” according to the company. “The WiT CloudPower Scholarship Program helps women seize an opportunity to skill up and get certified in Azure in order to position themselves for advancement.”

But on his campaign website, Spencer claims to be decidedly anti-“woke.”

“Puberty blockers have no place in Tennessee for minors.  God does not make mistakes on genders,” his platform says.

He also takes issue with transgender athletes.

“There are only two genders, male and female,” the site says. “Denial of this fact threatens women physically and emotionally, while robbing them of opportunities they have fought so hard for. As your senator, I will stand up and protect women always.”

Haile, Spencer’s opponent, has advocated for closed borders during his time in the Senate.

On a May episode of The Michael Patrick Leahy Show guest hosted by Aaron Gulbransen, executive director of the Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition, Haile talked about the reality of open borders:

The problems that we have with immigration are real. They’re real. Many folks, they see the pictures [at the border], but they don’t understand all that represents. It represents sex trafficking of children. It represents illegal drugs that come across. It represents a lot of felons, folks that want to do individuals harm. Not good. That’s not everyone that comes across, but those are involved, including that. We need our immigration system to be robust, but it needs to be honest. It needs to be truthful. We need to look at these individuals that are coming across and process them in a very timely manner – not 15 years out. You’re not processing them doing that.

He also explained that he sponsored and passed two bills during the spring session of the General Assembly to fight illegal immigration:

There’s always the concern or has been the conversation about how much illegal immigration is costing the state of Tennessee and we really don’t have a handle on that. We know it’s taking place, but we don’t have a handle on it. So we passed two bills that I carried this year, took two bills to get this done. One was that we wanted to know of those illegals who are not here legally and are being arrested, being housed in our jails and in our prisons. We want to know who those individuals are. We want numbers and data off of that.

Then, the second bill is we can take that data – law enforcement is supposed to send that information to the district attorney’s conference – and then with that data, the district attorney’s conference will take that data, work that data, put dollars to that so we know how much it costs to house someone in jail as an average, in prison or in our county jails, so we can get that figured. The reason that this is important is we want to be able to give our attorney general the ability to file against the federal government so that he has standing.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on X/Twitter.
Photo “Chris Spencer” by Chris Spencer.






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4 Thoughts to “Republican State Senate Candidate Chris Spencer at Odds With Trump on Immigration, Other Issues”

  1. Ms independent

    Haile and spencer are both rhinos. Neither one will receive my vote.

  2. Joe Blow

    One only needs to examine Haile’s record to find holes in his arguments. He supported giving professional licenses to illegals as a case in point. On top of that he supported the IMPROVE Act that raised the tax on our gasoline by 12 cents a gallon while parroting the lie that doing so would include eliminating the Hall (income) Tax on interest income. The truth of the matter is that the Assembly had already passed a bill the prior session to eliminate the Hall Tax. So much for Haile being a solid conservative. This article sounds as if the author got one of the glossy mailers sent by one of the lobbyist groups – I mean PAC’s – supporting Haile. Now why would such groups, and there are more than one, supporting Haile. I suggest that one follow the money.

  3. Cannoneertwo

    Maybe it’s a good thing that these “leftist RINO weasels” are part of the Party. Instead of walking lockstep with everyone else, perhaps they are thinking for themselves. Just a thought.

  4. D.J.

    The TN Republican Party should be weeding out these leftist RINO weasels (ditto Courtney Johnston) before allowing them to run under the party banner. They’re clearly Derp State Demonrats.