Path to Power
Born in Cincinnati in 1951, Schmidt is one of four children to Gus Hoffman, banker and the founder of the Hoffman Auto Racing team that competed in the Indy 500.
In 1973, she became one of the first women ever permitted in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway pits and by the end of the decade, joined her sister as a uniformed scorekeeper for the team. During that time she also became an avid runner, completing dozens of marathons.
During the 110th Congress, Schmidt voted with House Republicans 94.2 percent of the time. She has a lifetime rating of 90.9 from the American Conservative Union.
At a September 2009 event tied to the Tea Party movement, the liberal blog Think Progress caught video of Schmidt talking with a woman who questioned whether President Obama was born a U.S. citizen. "I agree with you, but the courts don't," Schmidt whispered to the woman.