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Read Todd Portune's Resignation Letter From Hamilton County Commission

Jay Hanselman
Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune announcing in September that he would not be seeking re-election in 2020 for health reasons.

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune Monday submitted his resignation letter to the county's administrator and human resources director.

Calling his tenure "a joy, honor and a privilege," Portune wrote that he will resign Tuesday, Dec. 31, effective at 5 p.m.

He announced in September that he would not seek re-election in 2020, and in October, said he would be leaving office by the end of the year as he continues to battle cancer.

Portune has recommended Chief of Staff Victoria Parks as his temporary successor, a move that still needs approval by the Democratic Party central committee. 

Earlier this month the two other county commissioners, Denise Driehaus and Stephanie Summerow Dumas, announced that the county administration building on Court St. in Downtown Cincinnati would be renamed "The Todd B. Portune Center for County Government" in his honor. Cincinnati council is also giving the secondary name "Todd Portune Way" to that section of Court St.

Portune, 61, was first elected a county commissioner in November 2000. At that time, he was the first Democrat elected to the board in nearly four decades. Portune defeated Republican Bob Bedinghaus largely over voter anger with a lease for the Cincinnati Bengals and cost overruns for the team's Paul Brown Stadium.

Portune was successfully re-elected in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.

Prior to being a Hamilton County commissioner, Portune served seven years as a Cincinnati City Council member, having been appointed to a seat in 1993. He also considered running for Ohio governor in 2014, but did not enter the Democratic primary that year.

Portune has battled severe health problems for more than 20 years. In 1996, doctors discovered tumors on his spine. Treatment for a blood clot in 2002 caused those tumors to hemorrhage, causing partial paralysis. Last year, he had his left leg amputated because of another tumor, and also had precautionary chemotherapy treatments. Earlier this year he fell at his home, causing further injury to his spine and returning him to a wheelchair. The return of his cancer was confirmed in April, and a series of experimental treatments this summer weren't effective in stopping it from spreading.

Read his full resignation letter below. 

Portune Letter of Resignation 2019 by WVXU News on Scribd

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.