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Familiar name enters City Council race

Citing more than 20 years of civic involvement, Marilynn de Chant announced Thursday that she is running for New Port Richey City Council.

de Chant, 54, is the first to publicly enter the city's 2005 race, which will have two open council seats during the April municipal election.

Veteran council members Ginny Miller and Tom Finn have reached their term limits.

Council member Bob Langford, who was first elected in 2003, said Thursday that he intends to run again, adding "hopefully there will be some good candidates coming out and we'll have a good council."

Qualifying for the election begins Feb. 8 and runs through Feb. 15.

So far, "a couple of people have stopped by to pick things up, but it's too early to say who is a candidate," City Clerk Vicki McDonald said.

de Chant said she decided to run after noting the major changes reshaping the city. From new ordinances to new retail and residential projects, de Chant said she has watched from the sidelines.

"I was thinking maybe it's just time for me to get in a position where I'll have a voice in some of that," she said.

"This is such a great time to be able to run for an open seat; it's a positive," she added, noting "I don't feel like I have to run against anything.

For the past two years de Chant has run her own business from home _ Marilynn de Chant Communications and Public Relations. Although "I just got my business license two weeks ago," she said.

She has called New Port Richey home since 1980 and "I've been active for 23" years, she said.

However,"this will be my first effort" at running for public office.

Her community involvement in the city includes eight years as executive director for the New Port Richey Community Cooperative, now called Greater New Port Richey Main Street. She also was Queen Chasco in 2000 at New Port Richey's Chasco Fiesta and has been involved in Leadership Pasco.

She is married to Dell de Chant, a religious studies professor at the University of South Florida who served four years on New Port Richey's City Council from 1989-1992.

Melia Bowie covers the city of New Port Richey. She can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6229, or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6229. Her e-mail address is