AUGUSTA — State Rep. Jennifer DeChant, D-Bath, has announced her resignation from the Legislature, where she represents House District 52.

“Since 2012, I have taken that responsibility seriously and have been deeply engaged in our community as well as with issues important to our state,” DeChant said in a statement. “Recently I have been offered a unique career opportunity in the private sector. This new role makes it impossible to continue to fulfill my responsibilities as State Representative of HD52. Since I cannot continue to serve what would be my last term due to term limits, I must resign my seat effective February 1, 2019.

“This has been an extremely difficult decision to consider. As with many Maine families, I have been faced with the challenge of balancing family and professional life. This decision to pursue this opportunity is what is best for my family at this point.

“I remain deeply grateful for the support of the people of Bath who made this experience one to treasure. While I remain committed to public service, right now it is time to focus on this transition.”

DeChant declined to elaborate on her decision or the career opportunity she is pursuing Thursday.

However, legislative staffer Katie Walst said DeChant is headed to telecommunications and media company Charter Communications.

The company, which also operates as Spectrum, employs 780 individuals in Maine. Its officials announced in December that the company is launching faster internet service throughout the state, including in rural areas.
DeChant was first elected to the legislature in 2012 and has been reelected to three consecutive two-year terms. She was elected to her fourth term in November with more than 70 percent of the vote.

In announcing her decision to step down on Facebook Thursday afternoon, DeChant called it “an extremely emotional day.”

House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, posted to DeChant: “Thank you for your incredible dedication and work. Oh, how we will miss you!”

DeChant was employed as the executive director of the Chocolate Church in Bath and serves on its board.

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that DeChant is no longer the Chocolate Church’s director.

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