Editor's note: This story originally published in advance of the August primary. It has been updated to include information about the candidates who will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. This article is part of the Missourian's 2012 general election voters guide.
WHAT'S THE JOB? The Missouri Senate comprises 34 members who represent districts based on population. The 19th Senate District comprises all of Boone and Cooper counties, with a population of about 180,250.
The Republicans hold 26 seats in the state Senate. Given the number of uncontested seats and the fact that only half the seats are up for election this year, Democrats will be unable to take the majority in this election cycle.
Senators are paid $35,915 per year and can serve two four-year terms. Neither of the candidates this year has a primary opponent.
Mary Still (D)
Still was elected state representative in 2008. In the House, she has pushed for payday loan reform and an increase in the state's cigarette tax. Still also has advocated for a student to be a voting member of the UM System Board of Curators.
If successful in her bid for the Senate, Still said she would focus on education and job creation. She wants to be an advocate for women and work to protect their access to birth control and health care. She also said she would represent the 19th District with "an independent voice" and stand up to special interest groups.
- Personal: Age 58. Married to Russell Still. They have two children.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism from MU, 1976.
- Occupation: State representative for Columbia.
- Background: Senior policy adviser and director of communications for then-Attorney General Jay Nixon; director of communications for former Gov. Bob Holden; director of the MU News Bureau.
- Campaign website: marystill.com
Kurt Schaefer (R)
Schaefer is the incumbent senator for the 19th District and is seeking his second term. He was elected to the Senate in 2008, defeating incumbent Democratic Sen. Chuck Graham by 1,600 votes.
Schaefer has served as chairman of the appropriations committee for the past two years. Schaefer said he wants to continue working to fund his top priorities of public education funding and infrastructure improvements.
Over his legislative career, Schaefer has received awards from the Alzheimer's Association, the American Cancer Society, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Dental Association, among others.
- Personal: Age, 47. Married to Stacia Schaefer. They have three children.
- Education: Bachelor's degree in geology from MU, 1990; law degree from Vermont Law School, 1995; master's degree in environmental law, 1996.
- Occupation: State senator and law partner at Lathrop and Gage, LLP.
- Background: Former general counsel and deputy director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. He has also served as special counsel to the governor and the Missouri Department of Agriculture. He is a former Missouri assistant attorney general.
- Official state website:www.senate.mo.gov/12info/members/mem19.htm
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.