State Rep. Bryan Spencer announced this month that he will run for the Missouri Senate in 2022 when current Sen. Jeanie Riddle leaves office.
Spencer is nearing the end of his own term limit in the state House of Representatives in 2020. He represents House District 63, which includes the Wright City and Wentzville areas.
Spencer said he originally intended to return to his profession as a teacher when he finished his time in office. But he reconsidered after asking himself how he could make the most difference for people.
“I decided that in the state Senate, I could do a whole lot more than what I’m doing now. And right now I feel like I’m a full-service rep,” Spencer commented.
He said his motivation for public service came from his parents, who were both actively engaged with community boards in Spencer’s childhood home of Rolla. Eventually, after years as a history teacher, a group of former students convinced him to run for state office.
Since being elected to the House as a Republican in 2012, Spencer has proposed laws to improve public education and limit certain government regulations. One of his bills passed into law in 2018 opens access for K-12 students to take online classes that aren’t available in their school district. Spencer is also pushing for added protections for businesses that use working animals.
Spencer said he always votes his conscience on the core issues of abortion, gun rights and state sovereignty from federal control. Otherwise, he said he goes to his constituents for direction on how to vote, including conversations and surveys sent out in the mail.
“I read every single (message) and then I enter their information into a data system, and then when a topic comes up for a vote, I try to look at what their voice is,” Spencer commented.
Spencer specifically addressed a controversy among voters regarding his support for Right to Work, a restriction on the power of labor unions that was overturned by a voter referendum in 2018. That support was based on voter surveys that told him to vote yes on Right to Work, Spencer explained, saying that data didn’t match the broader election results.
Maintaining broad contact with constituents would be a new challenge for Spencer if he is elected to the Missouri Senate’s 10th District seat. The district includes Warren County and five other counties.
Spencer said he wants voters to know he will keep being accessible and active in communities. One of his main policy objectives will be directing state infrastructure funding to help manage rapid growth in the 10th District. Having gone through similar growth while representing Wentzville in the House, Spencer said he’s familiar with the needs and growing pains of rural areas seeing a population influx.
Spencer is able to run for office in the 10th District specifically because he moved away from Wentzville in 2018, to a home in Wright City. He said he was looking to return to a more rural area, having grown up in a farm family.
“I think my background, being in FFA and 4-H and growing up on a farm, is more suitable to the farming communities. ... I think I’m a well-balanced person for a diverse Senate district.”