COLUMBIA — Missouri Rep. Mary Still, a Democrat from Boone County, announced her candidacy for the state Senate District 19 seat this morning.
Still, who currently represents Columbia in the 25th District, will run against Republican incumbent Kurt Schaefer in the November 2012 election, according to a news release from her office.
Still said a Senate seat would afford her better opportunities to support her causes, such as a higher cigarette tax and capping interest rates on payday loans. Still also said that serving in the Senate would allow her to block legislation she feels is bad for the community.
"Too many people, regardless of party, will stand down rather than stand up when faced with pressure and special interest lobbyists," Still said. "It's important to have a strong voice in the Senate to help represent working people."
Senate District 19, the seat in question, was recently reconfigured by the Missouri Appellate Apportionment Committee. By next year's election, District 19 will include Howard County instead of Randolph County.
Schaefer said that he has already visited Howard County in anticipation of the changing district boundaries. He was elected to the Senate in 2008, and the upcoming election will be his first time running for re-election. Schaefer said that if re-elected he will continue to support increased education funding.
"I’m very proud of my bipartisan work and actually being productive for the citizens of my district," Schaefer said. "I’m willing to put that record up against anyone, no matter who they may be."
Still said: "We have different backgrounds and different perspectives on many issues, including the economic problems we face. People deserve a choice."
Still, who plans to run a grassroots campaign, visited the Howard County Courthouse in Fayette on Friday morning.