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Best Bureaucrat 

Kara Bowlin

Ed Rhode was a hard act to follow. In his eight and a half years as St. Louis mayor Francis Slay's press secretary, he dispatched news releases and pesky reporters with equal efficiency — until last summer, when he left the mayor's employ to start his own PR firm. Fortunately, Kara Bowlin stepped in to replace him. Bowlin, 26, is one of several young recent hires in St. Louis City Hall's Room 200, and she's been instrumental in helping the mayor get used to the wonderful new world of social media. We're not sure if Bowlin's influence is responsible for Slay's increasingly lively Twitter feed — she doesn't contribute herself but does monitor the tweets by the mayor and his campaign office. But we do enjoy checking out his website and, even more, calling up the mayor's office. Thanks to Bowlin's endless good humor in answering all of our questions (even the stupid ones), we don't even mind hearing "no comment." Well, we don't mind much.

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