His opponent in the race, three-term incumbent Sen.
"I've never understood party affiliation," he said. "To me, (serving in the Legislature) is about working with people. If you can build a team and work on the issues that need to be addressed, that's effective. Party affiliation often limits the ability to build teams. I don't see it as an effective strategy for getting things done."
Foreman initially ran for
He describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order," and suggests he would be in the minority in
"There are some legislators who share my views, but when you look at how most of them vote, they're RINOs -- Republicans In Name Only," Foreman said. "What we need down there are true conservatives. That's what I'm all about. I'm an advocate for smaller, more efficient, more responsive government. I won't compromise on my principles, and won't support anything that I think hurts
States rights are a major concern of his. He believes illegal immigration, the influx of Muslim refugees and federal land ownership "are the type of issues the
For those who suggest lawmakers should focus more on local issues, such as jobs and education, Foreman cites
"Nothing gets me more riled than the belief that government is the answer to everything," he said. "That's one of the things that's wrong with America today. We need a revitalization of patriotism. Do things for yourself, instead of expecting the government to do it for you."
That applies to education as well. If
"Don't look at me as the fix-all man," Foreman said. "If there's not enough money (for school infrastructure improvements), get a hammer. All you moms and pops and community activists, you fix it. That's the American spirit."
Foreman suggests the Legislature take an "unbiased look" at what's right and wrong with
One of the main recommendations from the task force was to boost teacher pay. Foreman isn't opposed to that idea, although he cautions against trying to compete with other states that can afford to pay more.
"When you live in
Foreman's emphasis on self-reliance sets him apart from his opponent, who prefers to look for common ground.
As a medical doctor, Schmidt works with patients to diagnose their illness and recommend a treatment. He takes a similar approach to his legislative work, trying to identify problems affecting the state and then working with colleagues to craft solutions.
Getting the Legislature to embrace change is often difficult -- particularly for a member of the minority party -- but that's something he's used to from his professional life.
"As a doctor, it was hard for me to tell patients 'you need to do this,' " Schmidt said. "Eventually I learned there was a time to be directive, but patients often don't see the need to change. That makes it incumbent upon me to learn how to communicate better. You may have to be inspiring or empathetic. There are all sorts of ways to let people know they can change."
One area he'd like to convince the Legislature to change is in the type of investment it makes in
If wages are a primary driver of economic activity, Schmidt said, businesses should be flocking to
"I think we're making bad investments," Schmidt said. "That's my guess, but I'd like to have more conversations about it."
He has also been a driving force in encouraging lawmakers to talk about health care.
Based on the relationships he's built up over the past six years, for example, Schmidt was able to get the
After the committee failed to act on the bill, Schmidt gave up his taxpayer-funded health insurance -- worth
"If you're in a situation that isn't fair, you work to change it or you get out," he said at the time. "I've done my best to change it. I've tried in committee and tried on the floor. I'm trying to nudge folks to feel a sense of urgency about this and do the right thing."
Spence may be contacted at [email protected] or (208) 791-9168.
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