Schmidt to run for

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 21, 2000

Pike Commission, District 6


Staff Writer

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After defending the nation’s democratic process as a career military officer, John Schmidt has chosen to continue his efforts through the political process.

That is why the Troy resident is making his first venture into politics and is running for the Pike County Commission, District 6 seat.

A retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, Schmidt led all levels in his 25-year career. He served in Vietnam, Desert Shield and Desert Storm as well as in Bosnia and Haiti. Schmidt was instrumental in the evacuation of 280 personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia, just days before Desert Storm.

"I’m running for office from a deep-seated belief of service to others," Schmidt said. "To date, my track record reflects that sense of service combined with an ability to lead, as well as follow."

When asked what qualities he would bring as an elected official, Schmidt simply said, "VOTE!" That is an acronym for vision, optimism, teamwork and enthusiasm.

His platform includes:

· Preparing and implementing a countywide strategic plan for economic development that will involve all county residents.

· Bringing team building skills and consensus building to the county commission.

· Defining county issues better in order to gain public understanding and support for the commission’s work.

Some of Schmidt’s long-term goals include: expanding Troy’s airport facilities, seeking economic partnerships with neighboring counties to create an opportunity for regional growth and strengthen the "town-gown" relationship between Pike County and Troy State University.

Schmidt believes his experience makes him the candidate who can help accomplish those goals.

Since joining Troy State University in 1994, Schmidt has been involved in the community through his job as leader of the Student Affairs Division. But, his involvement doesn’t stop there. He has been involved: as a former member of the Pike County United Way, past president of the Troy Rotary Club, member and team captain of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, chairman of the 1996 Pike County Olympic Torch Run, chairman of the Troy Celebration 2000 committee and chairman of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce. He is also the incoming chairman of the USS Alabama Battleship Commission, which is an appointment by the governor.

In his spare time, Schmidt tends to his small tree farm in northeast Pike County. He also enjoys jogging and exercising and likes to hunt and fish.

He and his wife, Vicki, are from Birmingham and have been married 28 years. Two of their sons, Chris and Tim, are graduates of Troy State. Their youngest son, Steve, will be a Charles Henderson High School Class of 2000 graduate.

Schmidt said being named the 1997 Pike County Family of the Year and Citizen of the Year for 2000 are among the highest honors bestowed on him and his family.