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Missouri House District 138: Republican Burt Whaley

Courtesy of Burt Whaley

Burt Whaley is running in the August Primary Election against Republican Burt Whaley. There is no Democratic candidate for Missouri House District 138.

Tell us about yourself and why you feel you're a good candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives.

“Okay, well, first of all, I'm a husband of one wife of 39 years, as of two days from now. I'm a father of four, grandfather of 11, a retired U.S. Army military — military police most of that time, a retired teacher and principal of 28 years. And for the last eight years, I've taught active shooter intruder training for churches and schools. And I believe that I've served the public since, oh, gosh, about 42 years actually in various ways, either through Fellowship of Christian Athletes, youth groups, civic groups, a variety of different sources. And I have been asked to run for the 138th by many citizens of the 138th. And I've also been active in the Central Committee for Stone County and Stone County Republican Assembly, Missouri Republican Assembly, as well as the Christian County Republican Assembly. So, I've actually been part of both counties for the last several years.”

Which issue is most important to you and why?

“The most important issue is saving babies. That's why I really got into this. Originally, I started speaking with (Missouri State Senator) Mike Moon about four years ago, and Brad Hudson, who were my representatives at that time. Both in the Senate and the House. And I believe that the sanctity of life is the most important. I think that's where it's a moral issue. It's also a faith issue. And so, life from conception is what I'm — want to protect. That's the most important issue. Yes.”

Why did you decide to run for office?

“Well, as I said earlier, I was asked by a number of people. My wife and I put it into prayer and petition for about two and a half months and seriously considered this and the effects on the family. The key here is serving. I've been a servant since, well, about my sophomore year in high school. And this is my next step in service to ‘We the People.’ Our school system. We must educate our kids. May it be public education, because I believe we need to save the public school. But we also need to provide provisions for home schooling, private schooling and charter schools. Education is the foundation, well, our faith is our foundation and believe it or not, public school got started back in the day to learn how to read the Bible. And the Bible that they were reading was approved by our Congress, which is really cool. That creates the foundation, but education is huge. We must educate all of our children in the best manner possible, and we must have local control at the education level. May it be at the public school and parents having a tremendous amount of involvement in that. May it be in a private school where the parents have a little bit more influence on that. May it be at home school, which they obviously have significant influence on that. And charter schools, I think charter schools have the ability to meet the needs of unique students in a unique way. And I've been involved in all of these components in education through my time as an educator.”

What do you think makes your district unique, and how would you represent it in Jefferson City?

“Well, we are unique. We are — we have a tourism area around the lake, Table Rock Lake, and we also have farming. And then we have the in-between. And so, it's a very unique when you look at South Christian County, it's pretty much rural, a lot of farming. We have Sparta, which is a little bit more of a metropolitan area, but we also have small towns like Chadwick, Highlandville, and Spokane and Saddlebrook. And then we also, when you look at Stone County, we also have some small towns as well, in the north especially. And then as we go south, and Kimberling City and Branson West are larger areas. So, it's more of a suburbian type feel but a good mix. And there's a strong faith-based organization or a group within these communities.”

Running for office as a state lawmaker opens up a lot of scrutiny and criticism. Do you feel that the personal costs for you and your family are worth it, and why?

“It is worth it. Why? Because one, it's the next step. And God has laid out a path for me that's revealed over time. But it is definitely worth it, because we've got to do something in this nation to return back to our founding fathers, rhe foundational belief system, which is based off of faith, morality, law, education and liberty. And I believe strongly that we need to get back to those foundational pieces that our forefathers based this country off of, and it is well worth it. It is well worth the sacrifice. It's well worth the time and effort and energy and, yes, the sacrifice on my family, because I'll be gone four days out of the week from my grandkids and from my wife and from my children.”

How productive do you think the Missouri legislative sessions have been in recent years, and what would improve the legislature's productivity and effectiveness?

 “That's a great question. Productivity is probably less than what most of my constituents would like. They feel that they're moving too slow when it comes to the IP reform that did not happen this year. We have a lot of folks that are very frustrated about that. Bills are being added to. They call that a ‘Christmas tree bill.’ Each amendment that's added is another ornament, and it seems to be a struggle for unity to occur. We even saw division within the GOP convention, and this has caused a tremendous amount of frustration. My hope, and I've worked with a variety of different people and a variety of different environments with the military, with the education and with churches and with communities. I believe that unity can be achieved, but we need to get back to our basics. We need to focus on bills that are single topic as best we can and work together to achieve the goal of meeting the needs of ‘We the People’.”

What's something that you'd like to share with voters that most people don't know about you?

“That they don't know about me? Gosh. Well, my faith, I think that's the key. I believe strongly in the word of God. I believe that is my guiding direction. And I do think people know that. But it is very strong. And not that I'm a bigot, not that I am lost in doctrine, but it is my foundation. It is my strength. It is my stronghold and my fortress. And that that gives me stability. It has given me stability in the military. At a young age. I was dealing with, you know, the military, all that that's involved. That gave me my foundation on the rock, not on the sand. The rock to work through multiple issues in the military as a teacher and a principal, dealing with all types of issues, personal issues, medical issues with kids and obviously educational issues. All that was founded in my faith and my counsel to those during kids and parents and other administrators and other teachers. My counsel is through the Word, and that creates a strong, stable foundation to work off of.”

 

Theresa received her undergraduate degree in sociology at Missouri State University, as well as her Master's degree in Social Work at MSU. Theresa enjoys writing, drawing, reading, music, working with animals, and most of all spending time with her family. She wishes to continue to use her experiences, combined with her pursuit of education, to foster a sense of empowerment and social awareness in the community. Theresa loves working with KSMU and attributes her passion for NPR, and love of learning, to her father.