John Gillespie Running For Reelection: A Look At His Voting Record

Image Credit: & Antony-22 / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

Representative John Gillespie (R-Memphis-District 97) is running for re-election and is on the ballot in the Republican primary. Gillespie has been a Tennessee state representative since 2020 and has served one term so far in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Has Gillespie been a fighter for Conservative values during the last four years? Read on for The Tennessee Conservative’s analysis of Gillespie’s voting record and decide if he deserves a second term in office.

Some highlights from 2021-2024:

Voting Against Firearm Rights.

Gillespie voted against a Constitutional Carry bill in 2021.

Voting to Make Illegal Immigration Worse.

In 2022, Gillespie voted to make illegal immigration worse in Tennessee by voting for HB2309 which allowed professional or commercial licenses to be issued to non-citizens.

Voting for Censorship and Against Free Speech and First Amendment Rights.

Gillespie voted for the “Incumbent Protection” bill HB1201 which added campaign finance reporting requirements for 501(c)4, 501(c)5, and 501(c)6 nonprofits increasing paperwork for organizations that try to keep the public aware of how lawmakers vote.

Voting for Corporate Welfare.

Gillespie voted for legislation that allowed the Chattanooga Lookouts to move to a new stadium and keep a sales tax deal allowing them to keep the first 5.5% of the state’s 7% sales tax for sales at the stadium.

Voting Against Protecting the Privacy of Home School Families.

In 2023, Gillespie voted against protecting the privacy of home school families. HB0252 removes the requirement that a parent-teacher of a home school student provide proof of the student’s immunizations.

Voting Against Protecting Children and the Right to Parental Consent.

Gillespie voted against HB1380, legislation to amend Tennessee’s “Mature Minor Doctrine.” Tennessee law now requires written consent from the parent or legal guardian before a healthcare professional can give a vaccination to a minor.

Voting Against Protecting Teachers and School Staff from Woke Pressure.

Gillespie also voted against HB1269, protecting public school teachers and staff from being compelled to refer to students by preferred pronouns inconsistent with their biological sex. Tennessee law protects all school staff from being sued for using pronouns consistent with biological sex and prevents adverse employment actions.

Voting to Pave the Way for a Global Currency in Tennessee.

“The Money Transmission Modernization Act” also gained a vote from Gillespie. HB0316 legally redefines what the law currently recognizes as “money” in the state of Tennessee. Laying the groundwork for a global currency, this legislation appears to set the state up to allow foreign governmental entities the opportunity to produce, house, and exchange a currency that is not currently recognized by banks owned and operated within Tennessee.

Refusing to Vote to Protect Female Sports.

Gillespie refused to cast a vote either for or against HB0306, which protects female sports in private schools.

Additionally in 2023:

• Gillespie voted for the Transportation Modernization Act which allows the Tennessee Department of Transportation to negotiate deals for private companies to add lanes to state highways and create toll lanes.

• Gillespie voted against a bill that makes it a Class E felony for a book publisher, distributor, or seller to knowingly sell or distribute obscene matter to a public school serving any of the grades K-12.

Dubbed one of the TOP 5 RINOs in the TN House by The Tennessee Conservative

Taking all of his votes into account, Gillespie made the TOP 5 RINOs list in The Tennessee Conservative’s 2023 RINO Report.

Poor Score on the Tennessee Legislative Report Card

The Tennessee Legislative Report Card gave Gillespie a voting score of 64 with an abysmal leadership score of F for the 2023 legislative session. The report card, which can be seen in full HERE, shows that 15.88% of Gillespie’s campaign contributions were designated as special interests.

Some of Gillespie’s voting decisions in 2024 are as follows:

• During this year’s legislative session, Gillespie requested to be recorded as voting no in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on a bill that sought to prohibit the transportation of illegal aliens into the state. HB2078 would have increased the current fine from $1,000 to $5,000 and removed exemptions from fines in state law for commercial carriers. After progressing to its final committee assignment in the House, it was taken off notice after failing to pass in the Senate.

• Gillespie also voted against a bill, HB1605, that sought to ban Pride Flags and other flags, ideological or political in nature, from Tennessee public classrooms. While the bill still passed in the House, it failed in the Senate due to lack of a constitutional majority.

• He also voted for a bill that effectively makes it easier to funnel children away from their parents and into state custody. The law that takes effect July 1st, 2024, allows Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to file a petition for termination of parental rights within 90 days if there has been “substantial noncompliance” by a parent or guardian with the statement of responsibilities in a permanency plan over a period of six months.

• A new law (HB1695) that prevents the autopsies of minors who are victims of violent crimes from becoming part of public record, and so protects violent offenders also received a vote from Gillespie.

• Gillespie also voted for legislation closely resembling a “Red Flag” gun law (HB1625) that expands mandatory reporting laws for mental health professionals. The legislation, signed into law on April 23rd and effective immediately, requires a report be made on a patient to local aw enforcement, 988, or a local health facility if the individual makes what a mental health professional deems a threat against a group of people related to a school or against a family member of the patient. Critics of the bill voiced concern regarding privacy laws and how reported information would be stored and used. Mental health professionals are also given civil, criminal, and regulatory immunity given the subjective way in which they might perceive something to be a threat.

Gillespie faces a challenger in the Republican primary, Christina Oppenhuizen. A small business owner, Oppenhuizen says she is ready to “clean up” Memphis and is focused on protecting Biblical principles and Constitutional rights.


About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at

2 thoughts on “John Gillespie Running For Reelection: A Look At His Voting Record

  • May 24, 2024 at 4:51 pm

    Gillespie is simply awful, but it’s Memphis, Oppenhuizen doesn’t impress, and do you have to be a simply awful Republican to have any chance to win in that district? Would love to get the opinion of conservatives who live around District 97.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *