'Alt-right' leader Spencer isn't wild about voting but backed Democrat Kerry, as well as Trump
DALLAS — Dallas native and white supremacist leader Richard Spencer has expressed his disdain for voting, especially by women.
But he has voted in Dallas County and in at least two other states besides Texas, according to voting records obtained by The Dallas Morning News. Some of those votes were for Democrats.
“What did it say? I’m curious,” Spencer, 39, said when asked by The News about how he cast his votes. “John Kerry in 2004, right?”
Spencer, the self-appointed leader of the “alt-right” — a term he coined for a movement that embraces white supremacist views and Nazi symbols — told The News it isn’t hypocritical for him to vote.
“I think that something might not be the greatest system in the world, but it doesn’t mean, therefore, I can’t participate or anything like that,” Spencer said.
Spencer did vote for Democrats in the 2004 Dallas County primary by mail-in ballot, records show. Kerry would ultimately lose to President George W. Bush in the general election. That was also the year Dallas County Democrats began winning countywide elections after years of Republican victories.
Spencer said he voted for Kerry because he did not like Bush and what “he stood for.” When asked what he meant, Spencer said, “The war.”
Spencer, who has a home in Montana, told The News that though he voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in November, in local elections he voted for Democrats. Montana elected a Republican governor, U.S. representative, secretary of state and attorney general last year.
“The parties are much different in Montana. I can’t really speak as openly as I might otherwise because I’m on a plane,” he said Wednesday afternoon.
Spencer recently told Newsweek that he’s unsure whether women should vote.
“I don’t necessarily think that that’s a great thing,” Spencer said in an interview published Saturday.
“I’m not terribly excited about voting in general,” he told Newsweek. “I think that mass democracy is a bit of a joke to be honest.”
He wouldn’t tell Newsweek how he thought the United States should choose its leaders.
Spencer, who grew up in Dallas, voted six times in Dallas County between 1996 and 2004. He voted in three Republican primaries.
In 2006, he voted in the general election in North Carolina.
By 2012, he had registered to vote in Montana but only voted in last year’s presidential election, according to state and county records. Spencer skipped the local elections at his home in Whitefish, Mont., including a municipal election, a school special election and a bond vote.
The records don’t show which candidates Spencer voted for and only show the party when the race was a primary. In Montana, Spencer’s registration is not affiliated with a party.
Spencer has also lived in Virginia. But the state would not release his voting record, saying it was not public.
Spencer is scheduled to speak Thursday at the University of Florida. Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency in Alachua County, where the event will occur. After the governor’s declaration, Spencer retweeted a meme “Hurricane Spencer” with his head rolling from the Atlantic Ocean toward Florida like a hurricane.
Earlier this month, video surfaced of Spencer and others giving a Nazi salute at One Nostalgia Tavern in northeast Dallas in April 2016 as former Breitbart provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos sang “America the Beautiful.”.
The footage was obtained by BuzzFeed News as part of a trove of documents related to the inner workings of Breitbart News, a conservative news outlet run by Trump confidant and former chief of staff Steve Bannon. Bannon has boasted he wanted the site to become a go-to source for the alt-right.
Less than two weeks ago, Spencer was the featured speaker at a tiki-torch-lit rally in Charlottesville, Va. Marchers in white shirts and khakis shouted “You will not replace us!” and vowed the South would “Rise again.”
White supremacists have sworn to keep returning to Charlottesville after a “Unite the Right” rally in August left one woman dead. An Ohio man was charged with murder after being accused of plowing his car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators protesting neo-Nazis and others who were fighting against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 20 people were injured.
Texas A&M canceled a white supremacist rally last month that promoted a Spencer appearance because of safety concerns. Nearly a year ago, while speaking at the school, Spencer told the crowd that the United States “belongs to white people.”