PARKVILLE, Mo. – Platte County native and businessman Tom Hutsler is running for state representative on a pro-law enforcement and anti-Critical Race Theory platform.
“I consider myself a man of action, and that means where others may shy away, I am ready to take charge and lead,” Hutsler said in a press release. “I don’t back down from a challenge, and I am ready to give the people of this district my all.”
Hutsler, seeking the Republican nomination for HD 12, was initially inspired to run after Park Hill School District allegedly violated multiple students’ constitutional rights – including Hutsler’s son – during its botched handling of an offensive petition.
Hutsler, who believes woke ideology and critical race theory are the reasons behind the district’s alleged violations, currently has a federal lawsuit pending against Park Hill School District.
“There’s a real problem with Critical Race Theory being taught in our school districts,” Hutsler told The Heartlander. “The schools are creating a division between these students and these children. It’s absurd and unconscionable. CRT has been a cancer on the educational system.”
Hutsler’s other legislative priorities include increasing funding and support to Missouri’s law enforcement and first responders, while also making sure criminals are properly prosecuted.
“Our crime has risen and is getting worse because we have weak prosecutors in certain parts of the state who are not adhering to or upholding the law,” Hutsler told The Heartlander.
“I believe education and training is extremely important with law enforcement,” he later added.
Another of Hutsler’s priorities is improving Missouri’s infrastructure, including who the state hires on construction projects.
“With infrastructure, I believe it’s important that it creates jobs,” Hutsler told The Heartlander. “But I also think companies that are actually doing business in Missouri should be the first choice in line to get those jobs and contracts for the infrastructure improvement.”
In 2020, Gov. Mike Parson awarded Hutsler the Missouri Public Safety Medal for his role in defending a licensing office in Parkville in 2019. A disgruntled woman threatened the safety of employees, left the building, grabbed a handgun from her purse and fired a shot. As she tried to return inside the office, Hutsler blocked her path and refused to allow her inside, even after she brandished her weapon.
Hutsler proceeded to help an off-duty police officer detain the woman, which thankfully ended the dangerous situation with no serious injuries. Parson said Hutsler exhibited “tremendous bravery,” during the altercation and referred to his actions as “inspirational.”
Hutsler currently serves as chairman of the Parkville Old Towne Market Community Improvement District and manager of both the Olde Mill Emporium Event Hall and the Park Place Event Hall. Hutsler also has traveled around the district to speak with voters, and has received the support from several mayors of nearby towns, he said.
“There’s a tremendous amount of support not only from the Republican side, but from my Democrat friends as well,” he said.
Hutsler told The Heartlander that while he is a “diehard conservative” who believes in “less government restrictions, less government oversight and less taxes,” he’s also a realist who believes it’s an elected official’s duty to represent everyone, not just those who agree with him.
Hutsler graduated from Park Hill High School in 1973 and earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Missouri State University (formerly Southwest Missouri State University). He has been president of Joint Sales & Development, a real estate management company, for the past 25 years.