After 27 years of service, cancer forces Todd Portune’s retirement from politics

After 27 years of service, cancer forces Todd Portune’s retirement from politics


THIS POINT. HIS CANCER HAS RETURNED, SPREAD
AND FORCED HIM TO FOREGO ANOTHER
CAMPAIGN. AFTER TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS OF
PUBLIC SERVICE, TODD PORTUNE
TOLD A ROOMFUL OF FRIENDS AND
SUPPORTERS. HE SEES A DAY COMING WHEN HE
WILL LIKELY RESIGN HIS COUNTY
COMMISSION SEAT. HE WAS FLANKED BY HIS DAUGHTER,
ELISE, AND SON, ETHAN. I LOVE ALL OF YOU. AND IT’S BEEN A GREAT RIDE AND
THERE’S STILL A LITTLE BIT MORE
OF THE RIDE TO GO. JOHN HE’S SIXTY-ONE, IN A
WHEELCHAIR, HAVING BATTLED A
QUARTER CENTURY OF TUMORS AND
DEBILITATING HEALTH. HERE HE IS IN COLLEGE, SETTING
RECORDS IN TRACK. HIS OFFICE DISPLAYS A LIFE THAT
REFUSED TO LET PERSONAL PHYSICAL
SETBACKS STOP HIM. THIS TIME, HOWEVER, HIS WORK
ETHIC STANDARD HAS BEEN
OVERTAKEN BY PHYSICAL
DETERIORATIO
TODD AND I HAVE BEEN FRIENDS
FOR A LONG TIME. SO, IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO THINK
OF HIM IN TERMS OF STEPPING
DOWN. TODD: IT’S A POINT OF
PROFESSIONAL PRIDE FOR PORTUNE
THAT HE’S LARGELY VIEWED NOT IN
A PARTISAN WAY BUT AS A
COMMISSIONER. CHRIS MONZEL FORMER HAMILT
COUNTY COMMISSIONER.>>MY HEART GOES OUT TO TODD. EVEN THOUGH WE MIGHT BE ON
DIFFERENT SIDES OF THE POLITICAL
SPECTRUM, I KNOW HE’S A GOOD AND
DECENT MAN
TODD: THE GAP-TOOTHED KID WITH
GLASSES. GREW TO BE THE FIRST TO REACH
THE TAPE. TO REACH HOME PLATE WITH A

JOHN: THE GAP-TOOTHED KID WITH
GLASSES. GREW TO BE THE FIRST TO REACH
THE TAPE. TO REACH HOME PLATE WITH A
CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH. TO REACH OUT TO EVERYONE FROM
PRESIDENTS TO PEDESTRIANS. TO KEEP REACHING DESPITE TOUG
ODDS AS THIS FLYING PIG PHOT
ATTESTS. HE DESCRIBES HIS LIFE AS
TREMENDOUSLY BLESSED. AND IF THAT MEANS I GET TO
LIVE FOR A LONG TIME, THAT’S
GREAT. AND IF THAT MEANS THE LORD HAS
SOMETHING ELSE IN MIND FOR ME,
THEN I’M COMFORTABLE WITH THAT,
TOO. JOHN: HE HAS BEEN IN THIS OFFICE
CHAIR SINCE 2000. HE DOES NOT KNOW WHETHER IT’S
MONTHS OR WEEKS THAT ARE LEFT. WHAT HE DOES KNOW IS THA
THERE’S UNFINISHED BUSINESS. BUDGET, MUSIC VENUE, SORTA LEVY,
THE VIADUCT. HE INTENDS TO KEEP AT IT UNTIL
HE’S NO LONGER ABLE TO KEEP AT
IT
LIVE DOWNTOWN, JOHN LONDON

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