This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 edition of The Missouri Times Magazine.
Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz is a stalwart representative of Franklin and West St. Louis counties in the General Assembly. He’s served in his leadership position since 2019.
Below is a conversation between The Missouri Times (TMT) and Schatz (DS), with his responses edited for clarity.
What made you decide to get into public service in the first place?
I heard a sermon titled “Never Complain About What You Permit,” and after the 2008 election, I wasn’t excited about the direction our country was going, and I needed to find a way to get involved. Due to term limits, the opportunity to run for state representative in an open seat happened in 2010.
Who is the one person you’ve gotten to admire the most during your time in the General Assembly?
There are a lot of great people who serve in the General Assembly so it’s hard to pick just one.
If you could have any other job in the world, what would it be?
I enjoy what I do now, but my favorite job is being Grandpa.
But what job would you be terrible doing?
After watching “Dancing with the Stars,” a dancing instructor.
What is something you’ve been especially proud of accomplishing in the General Assembly?
Every time that we help one of our constituents solve one of their problems they face trying to navigate state government.
What is your favorite food?
Fried wild turkey breast with mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, and a side of morel mushrooms.
What’s the most unique aspect of your district, SD 26?
Meramec Caverns. No matter where I go, when people ask ‘where are you from,’ they know where Meramec Caverns are.
What has being in a leadership position taught you?
Lead by example, treat people the way you want to be treated, and always do what you say you’re going to do.
What is something you’ve always wanted to try or learn but haven’t yet?
Typing. I never had it in school and never thought it would be important. But if you only knew how long it took to answer these questions, you’d know why.
Do you have a life motto or favorite verse?
The Bible is full of wisdom and a guide for life, so it’s hard to have just one. But Romans 12:18 says: “If possible, so long as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
What do you look forward to the most when you have to come to Jefferson City for session?
And what do you look forward to the most during the interim?
Breaking out my golf clubs, hunting, and fishing.
Is there an issue you’ve become passionate about since joining the General Assembly?
Transportation funding. It is, I believe, one of the biggest financial issues we face that needs a solution.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere out west in the mountains.
Do you have any pets? If so, give us the details!
Jo Jo, a chocolate lab, and Darcy, a Morkie.
What do you listen to in the car?
DS: Mostly Christian radio (99.1 Joy FM), but I also like the 70s and 80s rock and all country music.
What do you and your wife do for date nights?
We like to go out for a steak dinner at the White Mule Winery.
How do you take your coffee?
In a 44 oz. cup, half Diet Coke and half Cherry Coke. I hate coffee.
What do you do to relax?
Go to our family farm, build a fire, and roast hot dogs.
Who has been an absolute lifesaver for you at the Capitol?
All of our Senate staff.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn was the editor in chief of The Missouri Times from 2020-2022. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.