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Martha Stevens forgoes House re-election bid 

Rep. Martha Stevens will not seek re-election in 2022, she announced Monday, leaving the HD 46 seat at the end of her third term next year. 

The Columbia Democrat has served in the statehouse since 2017. Stevens said she primarily focused on low-income families, addiction, and “many other priorities that reflect an agenda to promote social and economic justice for all Missourians.”

“I did not come to this decision easily and I will never be able to express my gratitude to everyone who put their trust in me, knocked doors, made calls, and donated to our campaign over the years,” Stevens said. “It has truly been the honor of my lifetime to represent and fight for the progressive values we share in the 46th District.”

Stevens said one of her greatest accomplishments was the passage of language that brings the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) to Missouri, allowing eligible women and children to use vouchers at local farmers’ markets. A partnership between the state and federal government, the program will cover the cost of the food while 70 percent of the administrative cost will be administered by the Department of Agriculture

Stevens sponsored the language as a standalone bill for three years, finally seeing it cross the governor’s desk as part of a bipartisan package this year.

She also worked with other members to pass a 2018 bill providing mothers struggling with addiction mental health and substance abuse services. 

Stevens was no stranger to Missouri politics before her election to the lower chamber. She began getting involved while working for Planned Parenthood in 2013 and organized in support of Medicaid expansion with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center. 

Stevens works as a social worker and advocate for seniors and those with disabilities, a career she said she would continue after her tenure as a lawmaker.