PARKVILLE, Mo. – Platte County native and businessman Tom Hutsler is running to represent Missouri’s 12th House District by way of supporting law enforcement and education reform.
Hutsler, the Republican nominee for HD 12 in Platte County, believes law enforcement is critical to maintain a functioning society, and that his unwavering support for first responders likely led to Missouri’s Fraternal Order of Police endorsing him.
“I received the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police for one main reason: I believe in funding our law enforcement,” Hutsler told The Heartlander. “Funding them so they can not only have better retention, recruitment and training, but also to increase wages. Our law enforcement is the first line of defense to ward off criminals and people who would try to take advantage of another person.”
In contrast, Democrat candidate Jamie Johnson has frequently maintained on social media that a police presence doesn’t prevent crime, and that funding for law enforcement would be better spent elsewhere – mimicking the argument of the largely abandoned Defund the Police movement.
“Training police does cost money. However police officers do not prevent crime, they respond to it,” Johnson tweeted in June of 2021. “We should be putting money into crime prevention initiatives, not crime response.”
“Police presence does not prevent crime,” she tweeted in January, doubling down on the same narrative. “We should be spending money on measures that prevent crime not that respond to it.”
“Well that’s just crazy,” Hutsler said in response to Johnson’s tweets. “That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of in my life. In Platte County, we enjoy a lower crime rate because our police are well-funded and we have prosecutors who are willing to prosecute criminals.”
Along with the endorsement from the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police, Hutsler has been endorsed by the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council, Missouri Right to Life and state Rep. Josh Hurlbert.
“Tom is a fighter,” Hurlbert said. He’s fought against indoctrinating our kids with Critical Race Theory in public schools. He is a small-business owner who fought for Downtown Parkville and helped develop the riverfront – boosting the local economy and creating many jobs. He even tackled a woman with a gun who was threatening to shoot innocent bystanders at the Parkville license office and saved countless lives. He is the right man for the job, and I’m looking forward to serving with him in the Missouri House of Representatives.”
Hutsler’s motivation to run for office and his focus on education reform was initially inspired by an incident with his son’s school district. Park Hill School District allegedly violated multiple students’ constitutional rights – including Hutsler’s son – during its botched handling of an offensive petition last year. He currently has a federal lawsuit pending against the school district.
Hutsler, who believes woke ideology and Critical Race Theory are the reasons behind the district’s alleged violations, says it’s being sneakily taught across the country, and that parents deserve to know exactly what their children are learning at school.
“I’m concerned about parental rights and our education system,” he said. “There’s a real problem with Critical Race Theory being taught in our school districts. The schools are creating a division between these students. It’s absurd and unconscionable. CRT has been a cancer on the educational system.
“I want to make sure going forward that we keep the teaching of that out of our elementary schools, and that parents have the right to visually see what books are available at school libraries. Parents should have a right to see the curriculum that is being taught by our teachers.”
Aside from supporting law enforcement and bolstering parental rights within school districts, Hutsler believes elevated taxes and regulation on businesses impede their chances of becoming successful, and hopes to work toward lessening that burden if he’s elected.
“One of my top priorities is making sure we have fewer restrictions on business and continue to support the lowering of taxes on businesses,” he said. “Anytime you can lower taxes on businesses, I’m 100% for that.”
Hutsler says he’s spent 90% of his time knocking on doors and speaking with voters on what they’re most concerned with.
“Going door-to-door is an absolute necessity,” he said. “Meeting people and talking to people to find out what their concerns are and where they stand on the issues is incredibly important.”
With the possibility of a close race looming, Hutsler understands that even if he wins, there may be a large portion of voters who will have voted for his opponent, and he believes they deserve valid representation just as much as people who supported him.
“I have dedicated myself the last 90 days to win this District 12 seat,” he said. “Not only for myself and my family, but for all of southern Platte County. I believe I’m the right person for the job. I believe I can represent everyone in the district, and represent them well. Not only represent people who vote for me, but represent everyone who doesn’t vote for me as well.
“If I go to Jefferson City and take that oath to represent the registered voters of District 12, I will never let them down.”
The general election is Nov. 8, and Hutsler encourages voters to visit his website to learn more about his campaign.