COLUMBIA — Mary Still, a longtime Columbia resident and an advisor to Attorney General Jay Nixon, announced Monday through a news release that she will file for the 25th District State Representative seat.
Judy Baker officially announced Monday that she is vacating the seat to run for the 9th district U.S. Representative seat that Kenny Hulshof is leaving in his bid for governor.
Still has worked as a spokesperson for MU and as the director of communications for former Gov. Bob Holden.
She thinks her long history — both politically and as an average Columbia citizen — makes her the best candidate to represent the 25th district.
“It is a challenge, and I think it’s good to have someone who understands family life in this district,” Still said.
Still is no stranger to one of the issues she considers most important in this election: education. Her husband, Russell Still, is a former president of the Columbia School Board, and the couple’s two children attended elementary, junior high and high school in the Columbia Public School system.
She considers the public school system one of Columbia’s strengths and does not support the use of vouchers.
“Taking taxpayer money and putting it in private and religious schools, I do not support, and I will stand very firm against that,” Still said.
She also said her years as a spokeswoman at MU have taught her about the value the UM System has to the state and to Missouri’s future.
Health care is another issue in which Still hopes to instigate change. She thinks that Medicaid cuts to the elderly, disabled and children should be restored.
“It’s not productive,” she said. “It’s wrong, and it’s shortsighted. We’ve lost close to a million dollars in federal money because of these cuts.”
Chuck Hatfield, an attorney who practices in Jefferson City, worked closely with Still while she worked at Nixon’s office.
He said that he frequently relied on her for advice on education matters and thinks that Still makes a strong candidate for the state House.
“Mary is really well-connected around the state, and because she worked for both Attorney General Nixon and for Gov. Holden, she doesn’t have near the learning curve that most candidates would have.” Hatfield said.