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Darden Rice says she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Darden Rice, who serves as St. Petersburg City Council chair, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I’ve always championed transparency and have been straightforward with my friends, family, colleagues and constituents. You have placed your trust in me – for that reason I am disclosing a deeply personal issue in my life: I have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer,” Rice said in a statement Monday, adding both her and her doctors are confident on the treatment plan.

“I expect to fully recover and be back at work shortly,” Rice says.

Rice, 46, was elected to the Council in 2013 and is running for re-election to District 2 this fall. She will officially kick off a 2017 campaign announcement within the next two weeks, Rice says.

Last week, Rice introduced Mayor Rick Kriseman at his own official campaign re-election event.

“I have committed my life to public service,” says Rice, a former Sierra Club official. “I love my work. I love my city. “

“I campaigned three years ago, on a platform of ‘St. Pete Strong’: strong city services, strong city economic development, strong neighborhoods. Three years later our city is stronger than ever,” she says. “And I am, too.”

While Rice takes time off from the council, Lisa Wheeler Bowman will assume her chair duties.

 

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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