Whether it's running in three elections in one year or a 5K race in Portsmouth, she is comfortable in both.
“Running relieves tension, clears the cobwebs in your brain and keeps you focused,” Schmidt said after not only finishing the event in a time of 23:05, but running back on the course and cheering other participants on.
She said she started running after her daughter was born and now makes a habit out of running 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons.
Schmidt, who is running for re-election to the House of Representatives, was anxious to switch gears and talk politics after the grueling competition, and spoke about the immigration issue.
“The House voted to build a wall as a first step. We have to make some choices what to do about the estimated 11 to 20 million illegal aliens who are here, but I think we have to first secure the borders,” she said.
Schmidt also advocates using, in addition to a wall, National Guardsmen and what she referred to as “all the tools of the trade.”
Schmidt gained national attention when she spoke of those in Congress who would advocate immediate pull-out of troops from Iraq by saying, “Marines don't cut and run.”
“Most of the people I have talked with are glad I said it. If I had it to do over again, I probably would change the wording, but I will never change the message,” Schmidt said.
She met with a Marine this week who was one of six caught in an exchange of gunfire in Ramadi, and his father wanted Schmidt to come and visit.
His father told his son, “I will guarantee you she (Schmidt) will always support our troops.”
With midterm elections in the national spotlight she said that there could be, “a shift here and there, but I don't see the Republicans losing control of Congress.”
Schmidt said that the Democrats are running a campaign based on a Republican culture of corruption, but said she doesn't think that will be enough.
“They don't have a clear answer and haven't been able to articulate a clear-cut message that they have a solution to existing problems,” she said.
Another issue she is concerned about is the estate tax.
“People who operate family-run businesses, when someone dies, have to sell off part of the business just to pay the taxes. That is counter-productive,” said Schmidt.
She said she has been actively involved in promoting the use of alternative fuels as a way to overcome the U.S. dependency on oil.
“I bought a flex fuel car that runs on 85 percent ethanol, and while that may not immediately help farmers in Ohio, it will help them elsewhere, and personally, I would rather give my money to a farmer in Iowa than some shiek in Saudi Arabia or a mad man in Iran.”
Schmidt said that the campaign comes down to security.
“National security, economic security, Social Security. I promised to address those issues in the last election and I have done that, but there is much more to do and so much more that we can accomplish together,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt will travel to all seven counties in the 2nd District over the Fourth of July weekend and will appear in parades, at ice cream socials and other events.
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232