Mary Still is not afraid to lose.
“If I were afraid to lose, I would not have run in this race,” Still said last week.
The two-term 25th District state representative from Columbia opens the door of her paned-glass sunroom to let in a little stormy afternoon breeze. Still, a Democrat, is well aware of the odds she faces in her bid to unseat Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, in the 19th District.
Schaefer’s campaign finance war chest outweighs Still’s by a factor of almost 4 to 1. As one of 34 senators, his name recognition also outpaces that of Still, who is one of 163 representatives of the Missouri House. And her opponent’s chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful roles in the General Assembly, makes him all the more formidable.
But Still is not easily intimidated. And she is determined to have a Democrat represent Columbia in the Missouri Senate.
“I can better reflect the values of this community,” she said in a soft Arkansas drawl.
Campaign staffers, friends and volunteers are stationed in her spacious, light-filled kitchen. They work with their laptops here, or from desks at Still’s memorabilia-strewn campaign headquarters on Old Route 63 or walking door-to-door in neighborhoods around Columbia and Boone and Cooper counties.
This is Still’s third campaign for a seat in the legislature, and it’s clear this isn’t her first rodeo.
2085 words / The Columbia Missourian