Denise Driehaus

Seal of Hamilton County
Provided / Hamilton County

Hamilton County commissioners are outlining their goals for the upcoming year. That includes welcoming a new commissioner, who is expected to be named this weekend by the Democratic Party to replace Todd Portune, who resigned Dec. 31 because of his battle with cancer.  

dan hils
Image via WVXU news partner WCPO

Cincinnati FOP President Dan Hils was a Republican candidate for Hamilton County commissioner for about a week before he abruptly ended his candidacy this Tuesday.

PROVIDED / HAMILTON COUNTY

When Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus took office, she became the second woman ever to have a seat on the commission. She made it one of her priorities early on to begin addressing the disparity of women holding office. In 2017, she created the Hamilton County Commission on Women and Girls to promote women in leadership roles.

Provided / Hamilton County

The Hamilton County Commission on Women and Girls (HCCWG) will present its report and recommendations to the county commission Thursday evening.

todd portune
Hayden Schiff / Flickr Creative Commons

Two weeks ago, Hamilton County commissioner Todd Portune, a Democrat, held a press conference to announce that his cancer was spreading and that he would not be running for re-election in 2020.

todd portune
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

On Jan. 25, 2020, Todd Portune, who spent nearly 30 years in office as a Hamilton County commissioner, died at his home in Green Township, according to a statement from his family. He was 61. 

union baptist cemetery
Ronny Salerno / WVXU

Union Baptist Cemetery is tucked away in a quiet spot off Cleves-Warsaw Road on the border between Price Hill and Covedale.

It’s the oldest Baptist African American cemetery in Cincinnati, run by the oldest surviving black Baptist congregation in the city.

It’s also a monument to at least 120 free black men. During the Civil War, they took up arms and fought as soldiers against a Confederate army that would have kept their people in bondage.

andy black
Courtesy of Andy Black

When I started covering politics in these parts 37 years ago, it would have been hard to imagine a day when the Republicans were on the outside of Hamilton County government looking in.

That day has come.

Hamilton County Commission Relocates Thursday's Meeting, Again

May 22, 2019
Seal of Hamilton County
Provided / Hamilton County

After questions about moving the Hamilton County commissioners meeting to the Daniel Drake Center, Thursday's meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Administration building.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

In her first State of the County address, Hamilton County Commission President Denise Driehaus says the county must be collaborative, creative and cost-conscious.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

In Ohio and across the country, jails are becoming defacto hospitals with more than 30 percent of inmates suffering from mental illness. The national program Stepping Up will now include Hamilton County after county commissioners voted to enhance existing efforts late last year.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County voters won't get a chance this November to decide on whether they want to increase the sales tax next year. And they likely won't have to worry about paying two-tenths of a cent more during purchases in 2019 either. Commissioners rescinded the sales tax increase, under threat of a lawsuit.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

The federal judge overseeing the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) consent decree has again told Cincinnati and Hamilton County leaders to work together. Judge Michael Barrett says if the two entities can't, he'll make decisions and they probably won't like them.

todd portune cancer
Ann Thompson / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune will have his left leg amputated to rid his body of cancer.

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Much of the reporting on the heroin crisis is focused on the tragic aspects of the epidemic, leaving people feeling helpless and hopeless without an end in sight. A local organization, the Urban Minority Alcohol & Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP), says getting out a message of help and hope is equally as important as telling the story of risk and loss.

Wikimedia Commons

Denise Driehaus is only the second woman ever elected to the Hamilton County Commission. Now she is determined to make the county a more inclusive home for women and girls. Women make up only 37 percent of Hamilton County elected officials, according to Driehaus, and only nine percent of the local CEOs.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Denise Driehaus starts her new job as Hamilton County Commissioner today. Even though she won't take the ceremonial oath of office until Thursday, the former state representative has been sworn in.

In November, she defeated incumbent Republican Dennis Deters to give Democrats control of the board for the first time in six years.

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The final result of two very close Hamilton County races won't be known for about two weeks until nearly 13,000 provisional ballots are counted.

But the results from Tuesday night's unofficial vote count are unlikely to be reversed.

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Democratic challenger Denise Driehaus barely edged out Republican incumbent Dennis Deters Tuesday night for a seat on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners. 

Political types on both sides agree – the race for Hamilton County commissioner between Republican Dennis Joseph Deters and Democrat Denise Driehaus is the most fiercely contested and most costly race this year for any county office.

And, if the polling that is said to be out there is correct, it may also be the closest contest, the one that keeps everyone up late on election night waiting for an outcome – quite possibly into the wee hours of the morning after.

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