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Politics Chat: Who Will Be Appointed To Portune's County Commission Seat?

todd portune
Bill Rinehart

Longtime Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, who is battling cancer, has said he will resign by the end of the year. He would like to choose his replacement, who would presumably run for a full four-year term in 2020.

But his first choice, former state senator Eric Kearney, apparently isn't interested. Former State representative Connie Pillich is thinking about it, but not expected to decide until next week. The only announced candidate on the Democratic side is former state representative Alicia Reece, who has the backing of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley - but not Portune.

WVXU Senior Political Analyst Howard Wilkinson talked with WVXU's government reporter, Jay Hanselman, about the situation in his weekly politics chat.

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.