KATY, Texas–Republican Texas State Representative candidate Schofield was like the mailman, out walking, rain, sleet, or shine. It paid off because he won by 68% of the vote in a district where 5,100 voters voted in the run-off. He did so against a candidate who has been the President/CEO of the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce since 1999.
His attitude is that “if you want to win the hearts and minds of the voters, you have to go to the grassroots and actually talk with them. They want to know what you believe.” He says that you go out and talk to the voters “not just because it helps you win, but because it makes you a better representative, you hear the issues.”
Schofield told those who he talked to on their doorsteps that “if I just wanted you to know what I thought, I could mail you this brochure. I want to know what you think.”
Schofield told Breibart Texas that he is a grassroots candidate and believes that a “race is about getting to know people – not about attacking your opponent.” He said it is like applying for a job – “you do not attack the other applicants, you try to convince the employer that you are the right candidate for the job.”
He covered 1000 homes a month between October 15th and Memorial Day. He knocked on 7,880 doors, just shy of the 8,000 he thought he would get to by the primary run-off date. He had knocked on 3000 doors by the time of the primary vote on March 4th. He hit the pavement on all but 9 days during that 7 1/2 month period. Schofield knows the power of the grassroots. He has been working for candidates for over two decades in West Houston and Harris County.
The Republican nominee for House District 132 is a lawyer who has worked at the prestigious law firm of Baker Botts, and as in-house counsel of a joint venture between Shell and Texaco. Schofield has served as advisor to Governor Rick Perry since 2003 – 6 sessions of the Texas Legislature.
While serving Governor Perry, Schofield worked on getting tort reform passed in 2003. At that time, Texas was losing doctors because they were facing double-digit malpractice insurance premium increases in the valley and in high risk specialties. High risk health care was limited for some of the most vulnerable Texans.
In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court case of Kelo v. City of New London sparked a nationwide property owner movement. The case expanded eminent domain powers beyond public use, to the power to take private land for the public benefit. It allowed an economic development authority to take homes for a corporation on the theory that it would increase the tax base and be good for the community. This U.S. Supreme Court decision enraged Democrats, Republicans, Southerners, and Northerners. Schofield went to work and helped pass a law, and later a constitutional amendment, that operated to limit eminent domain powers in Texas.
He is also an expert on election law and worked on the Voter ID law during 3 sessions. He has assisted the Governor and Texas legislators with a whole host of legal issues as they relate to legislation, and he has experience with a wide range of policy issues. Schofield was entrusted with any question that involved lawsuits and potential lawsuits in legislation. The object – not to make suing the remedy in legislation. In-between sessions, he took time off to help candidates and to help get out the vote.
Schofield says he learned by knocking on doors that the issues facing the voters in his district are pretty much the same as those facing all Texans. He says “Texans are concerned about government that can’t be bothered to protect its borders, but has plenty of energy to get into their family’s business and tell them what health insurance to buy. Texans are very concerned that under Barack Obama the government is trying to enter into a permanent state of dictating more and more from Washington about how people have to live.”
He says that “government no longer suggests that smoking is bad and that you should eat more vegetables, they want to tell you to stop smoking and to eat more vegetables. There is no reason to believe that dictating that you must buy health insurance is anything but the first step in Washington’s attempts to tell you how to live.”
If elected in the November general election, he pledges to stay out in the community. The district is very fast-growing and more and more people are added to the area every day. He says he will stay out in the community in order to see how the community is affected by the constant growth.
The fiscally conservative candidate attended a Katy Area Economic Development Corporation meeting a few months ago. Twenty minutes of slides were shown setting out commercial projects that were going to employ from 500 to 1000 people each. He says that the amount of housing and road mile increases, and increases on water infrastructure, is going to be enormous. Schofield is concerned that if the state keeps spending tens of billions of dollars on projects that are outside of Republicans’ core mission, the state is never going to be able to pay for things it is supposed to pay for like roads, schools, and water.
During the past 6 sessions of the legislature, Schofield spent his time helping the passage of good bills, keeping bad amendments off bills, and getting amendments on bills. He says “that if elected, I have no illusions that I will be anything other than a freshman legislator” but adds that “I have had a lot of experience working bills through the process.”
Anyone desiring to run for state representative, city council, school board, or any local race, would be wise to emulate Mike Schofield when running for office. As the Republican nominee, he is now turning his attention to November 2nd. His plan is to turn out the voters for the judges and for all of the Republican ticket. He faces Democrat Luis Lopez in November.
Follow Lana Shadwick on Twitter @LanaShadwick2