Candidate Profile
Tom Rhoades

Republican , Indiana


Tom Rhoades
State Senator, Dist. 16

Panel Rating

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Reported by Candidate

Retired Ft. Wayne Police Chief Rusty York, Retired Ft. Watne Police Chief Ken VanRyn, Retired New Haven Police Chief Henry McKinnon, Huntington County Sheriff Chris Newton, Former Director of the RCPI Wil Smith

Selected Contributions


Local, County, and District Republican Organizations (2019)







Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim.

Right to Life

Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Strongly Agree   

Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, should not receive taxpayer funds or grants from federal, state, or local governments.

Strongly Agree   

I support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires health care providers to provide life-saving treatment for infants who survive an attempted abortion.

Strongly Agree   

Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed?



It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has a livable income.

Strongly Disagree   

Free enterprise and the right to private property are essential elements of a productive economic system.

Strongly Agree   

What government spending would you reduce in order to balance the budget?

Our state already has mandatory balanced budget law. However, if the need to reduce spending due to budget constraints, I would be willing to take a closer look at some of the entitlement line items.

Religious Liberty

Governments should not discriminate against individuals, organizations or small businesses because of their belief that marriage is only a union of one man and one woman.

Strongly Agree   

Governments should define marriage as between one man and one woman; no other definition of marriage should be legalized or supported with taxpayer or public funds.

Strongly Agree   

Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.

Strongly Agree   

I promise to protect the freedom of Christians to share the Gospel and to practice Biblical principles.


What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?

Separation of church and state means the government should never hinder an individual's right to practice his/her religion. The government should not step in and interfere with an individual's beliefs or religion.


It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has health insurance.

Strongly Disagree   

How would you promote healthcare coverage that is adequate, affordable and accessible for all?

I believe that a strong economy, creating job opportunities for all, will help American workers realize their American dreams, including having benefits and healthcare. We must work with healthcare professionals to initiate strategies that will make healthcare accessible and affordable. The answers do not lie with Medicare for all, nor do the answers lie with government run healthcare.

National Security

The best way to maintain peace is through a strong military.

Strongly Agree   


I am in favor of construction of a wall and other necessary infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States.

Strongly Agree   

State and federal funds should be denied to any public or private entity, including but not limited to sanctuary cities, that are not in compliance with immigration laws.

Strongly Agree   

Who should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. and under what circumstances?

Our current immigration laws are adequate and must be enforced. Real immigration reform is necessary. Those choosing to immigrate lawfully should be rewarded.


Taxpayer-funded public education should be guaranteed through college.

Strongly Disagree   


Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.

Strongly Agree   

I support adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes in non-discrimination laws.

Strongly Disagree   

Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

I was raised as a pastor's son in a loving Christian home. I learned at a very young age that God's plans are not always comfortable, but they are good. My favorite book, by John Ortberg, is called "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat." This book challenges the reader to be open to God's call and to have the faith to leave your comfort zone and answer His call. As my pastor challenges us, we need to sop going to church and start being the church. While we may have fundamental differences with our neighbors, whether they are political in nature or in religious doctrine, we must recognize that God loves all of His creation and we must do the same.


When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?


Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.

We have a multitude of serious issues facing our country. The United States is a nation of immigrants, built by immigrants. Immigrants have made this country strong and will continue to do so, but our immigration laws must be followed. I believe the United States was divinely created to serve and protect the God given rights and freedoms of all people. In order to serve, our nation must remain the strongest military force in the world. As a career law enforcement officer, I realize the use of force is sometimes necessary to protect the weak. America has the strongest economy in the world. When government gets out of the way and stops messing with the market, American ingenuity and creativity will take off. When job creation takes place, more people work and the "minimum wage" goes up naturally. Raising taxes and passing regulation after regulation will bring job creation to a grinding halt. Finally, I believe that we must work hard to protect and strengthen the American family.

What education or experience qualifies you to hold the office for which you seek election?

I have dedicated my life to serving my community as a law enforcement officer, basketball coach, Sunday school teacher, DARE officer, and school board member. I am a husband, father and new grandfather. I know how tough it is to make ends meet while raising a family. I know how tough it is to save for college or to buy a house. I know the values of my community. We have done life together for 30 years and I seek this office as another opportunity to serve my neighbors. My mission in life has been very simple, to serve God, to serve my family, and to serve my community. I have experience in public safety, education and healthcare, and am committed to protecting our constitutional rights.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.


Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I am a Christian conservative committed to protecting the life of the unborn children and our 2nd amendment right to bear arms. I will never vote to restrict parental rights or to take away our constitutional rights. I believe that every child deserves the right to a quality education and therefore support school choice for Hoosier families. I believe in America and that our best days are still ahead of us. I want to be the voice for the people of our community representing our shared values and beliefs.

Judicial Philosophy

I support the use of Sharia law as a basis for legislation and judicial decisions in the United States.

Strongly Disagree   

Criminal Justice

Mandatory minimum sentencing should be required and enforced for violent crimes.

Strongly Agree   

2nd Amendment

Should teachers be allowed to carry guns at school?


What restrictions on gun ownership are needed to protect public safety?

As a career law enforcement officer, I support the 2nd amendment and the individual's right to protect their family and loved ones.

Other Important Issues

People should be able to vote without photo identification.

Strongly Disagree   

I support the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Strongly Disagree   

The Electoral College should be abolished.

Strongly Disagree   

In priority order, what three areas of legislation do you propose to author or sponsor if elected?

Education Healthcare Public Safety

Is racism a threat to domestic security in the United States? Why or why not?

I spent many years teaching cultural diversity for the Justice Department. During those trainings I found that if we create an atmosphere of mutual respect, and we can have honest conversations and dialogue, then we can make progress on understanding each other better, regardless of our cultural differences. Those who choose to hate based on cultural differences may never be gone, but we must stop feeding that narrative through the mainstream media for every group of people who don't agree on everything. If we continue to feed the narrative, then it could begin to place the security of our communities in danger.


  • University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, BS, 1987
  • Indiana Wesleyan University, Ft. Wayne, MSM, 2002
  • FBI National Academy, Quantico, N/A, 2006
Work & Military
  • Indiana Dept. of Corrections, Correctional Officer, 1
  • Plainfield Police, Police Officer, 4
  • Ft. Wayne Police, Captain, 13
  • Parkview Health, Chief of Police, 11
  • Sonrise Church, Personnel Committee
  • Lifeline Youth & Family Services, Board Member
  • Allen County GOP, Contributor
  • Allen County Right to Life, Contributor
  • Fraternal Order of Police, Member
  • Southwest Allen County Schools, Elected Board Member
  • Southwest Allen County School Board, Held 5

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