SD Legislative candidate survey: Tom Sutton

The South Dakota State Capitol building in Pierre at sunrise.
The South Dakota State Capitol building in Pierre at sunrise.(Austin Goss DNN/KOTA)
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 5:27 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Tom Sutton is running as a Republican for election to the South Dakota State House in District 10. District 10 is made up east and northeast Sioux Falls. Sutton is running alongside Republican John Mogen, and two Democrats, incumbent Erin Healy and Kameron Nelson.

Tom Sutton is a Republican running for South Dakota State House in District 10.
Tom Sutton is a Republican running for South Dakota State House in District 10.(Submitted)

1. Who are you? Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less.

My name is Tom Sutton, my wife is Senator Maggie Sutton, two children Shelly and Troy, and two grandchildren Alec and Miranda. I retired from the Sioux Falls School district. I am currently a Precinct Committee Men, GOP Minnehaha County Board Member, Alpha Center Board Member, Hope Harbor Board Member.  I am a veteran and belong to the American Legion.  I support several organizations such as Banquet Sioux Falls, Young Life Ministries, and Teen Challenge.

I am a small business owner here in Sioux Falls and have actively been involved in South Dakota politics for over 30 years.

2. What prompted you to run for office?

To keep the family values and hard work ethic that I have known all my life.  I want to keep those family values, low government regulations and a great place to raise a family,  that’s  why people are moving here!

3. What public policies are you passionate about? What would your policy priorities be in Pierre? Currently on alpha center board, a pregnancy crisis center for woman. My focus is to help women and families in crisis. I am also a huge supporter of our Agriculture communities and the impact policies will have on our farmers in the future. We are an Agriculture state, but so many people do not understand how farming has changed and the impact it has on our communities.

Law enforcement, public safety and Agriculture policies

4. Cutting the grocery tax has become central to this election cycle. Do you think that the legislature should cut the grocery tax next legislative session? Is there any taxes you would cut instead, or in addition to?

Depends on the final percentage of the final food tax cut is passed in the legislature.  No one will want their budget cut, so it will be a difficult decision. Education is a big chunk and so is social services, both areas would be a challenge, so deciding what to cut and how much will be a challenge and I am sure much debate.

5. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier in the year. South Dakota currently has a law that prevents abortion almost completely outright. Are there any exceptions you would like to see the legislature enact? What other laws would you like to see passed to support mothers and families?

I support the Supreme Court overturned of Roe v. Wade and it should be up to the states to make the final ruling in each state.

6. Recreational marijuana is on the ballot in November. If it passes, would you commit to legalizing it?

If it passes on the ballot its already legalized.

7. What is the most important quality for an elected official to possess?

Effective leaders make hard choices, and must be willing to self-sacrifice in order to enhance the lives of others.  As a business owner, your family will rely on your success. Just as the office of the legislature, your constituents will rely on you to make good decisions and to have good judgement, and that’s what will make our state great.

8. Who do you take inspiration from, and why?

It’s a mix of God, family and love of country.  First and foremost it’s about having faith in your beliefs. You cannot expect others to consider you as a leader unless you have solid faith in your ideas.  My children and grandchildren inspire me.

Leadership is having confidence in yourself and those you look up to inspire you to go beyond what you thought you could accomplish.  I see people from other states moving here to South Dakota, I want them to feel welcomed and to make South Dakota their home and to see our state as a representation of freedom.

State legislative candidates in contested districts this election season were emailed the same survey to complete for Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News. With the exception of a quick spelling and grammar check, answers were not edited by the poster. Those who responded to the survey questions had their results posted.