Beginning new chapter, Mary Still goes back to government

Monday, October 20, 2008 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 7:49 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 30, 2008

COLUMBIA — After two decades in Missouri politics, Mary Still was ready to slow down. With her children out on their own and an option for early retirement, Still, 54, decided it was time to start the next chapter of her life.

Maybe, she thought, she'd spend more time on the tennis court or traveling with her family. Or maybe she'd just enjoy unwinding in Columbia, jogging, working with her congregation at Missouri United Methodist Church and entertaining friends at home. In any case, a low-key retirement sounded pretty enticing.

Then, 25th District State Rep. Judy Baker, D-Columbia, announced her intention to run for Congress. Still's plans changed.

"When I heard there was an opening in this district ... . Well, I know the issues, I know the community, I know all the parents and the children," Still said. "I thought to myself: If this is something I can do, I should do it."

With her extensive work in communications and politics, Still has a resumé that reflects her connections in Jefferson City. Most recently, she served as policy adviser to Attorney General Jay Nixon, but Still also worked for 10 years as Nixon's communications director, 2½ years as former Gov. Bob Holden's communications director and eight years as director of the MU News Bureau.