Cincinnati, Ohio – Portune, Todd, age 61, Hamilton County Commissioner, Oberlin College Hall of Fame, passed away peacefully on January 25, 2020, with his family by his side. Loving father of Ethan, Ellyse and Emma Portune, he is also survived by his brothers Ned (Lisa) from Loveland, and Bob (Cuqui) Portune, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Robert and Alice Portune.
Portune was born in Cincinnati in 1958. He graduated from Colerain High School in 1976 and graduated from Oberlin College in 1980 with a political science degree. In 1983 he graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and became an attorney in Cincinnati.
Todd leaves a long legacy of care for the people of Hamilton County and will be remembered as a tireless servant of our city and county even at times of great personal challenge and sacrifice. Todd considered his public service a calling, and his devotion to the needs of average citizens spanned 27 years across Cincinnati City Council and the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.
Portune was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Cincinnati City Council in 1993. He won elections to two-year terms in 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999.
In 2000 Portune was elected as a Hamilton County Commissioner. The city of Cincinnati has voted solidly for Democratic candidates in the early 21st Century; the suburbs have supported the Republicans. Portune was the first Democratic commissioner elected from the suburbs in 36 years. Portune’s opponent Bob Bedinghaus won 43% of the 363,948 votes cast in 2000, while Portune won 48%. Portune was sworn in on January 2, 2001. In 2004 Portune was re-elected, with 57% to his opponent’s 42%. His winning in a conservative county was attributed to his moderate policies, and to effective campaigning. He won reelection in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
Public Visitation to be held Monday, February 3, 2020, at the Duke Energy Convention Center from 10 AM until noon with service immediately following. Burial will be at Spring Grove Cemetery.
Portune was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. Later that year, his spinal tumors erupted, causing paralysis of the legs. Portune’s left leg was amputated in 2018. After years of remission, his cancer returned and metastasized. Portune stated in September 2019 that he would not run for re-election in 2020, and announced the following month he would retire at the end of the year. His chief of staff, Victoria Parks, began acting in his role for the remainder of his term, which ends at the end of 2020. Portune died from cancer on January 25, 2020.
Donations can be made in his honor to the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati at www.dsagc.com or 4623 Wesley Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45212. Arrangements are being handled by Spring Grove Funeral Homes. www.springgrove.org
On December 30, 2019, Portune submitted a letter of resignation from his service to the Hamilton County Commission. It reads in part:
On September 12, 2019, I announced both my intent not to seek a new term for the Hamilton CountyCommission and in the process alluded to the probability that I would also resign my seat on the county commission prior to its statutory termination date of January 1, 2021. Please accept this letter as such notice of my official resignation, effective as of 5:00 pm on December 31, 2019.
It has been a joy, honor and a privilege to work you and with all of the men and women, both those under board supervision and those who have worked under those who have been independently elected, 2 past and present, in the best interest of the people of Hamilton County.
I ask that you humbly assist in the transition of all of the duties and responsibilities to the new county commissioner, who will undertake the full duties and responsibilities of this office as required by law. I have the utmost faith in each of you in doing so.
Please let me know if there is anything at all that you require of me as we close out this year and my service.
I also pledge my cooperation and support to do anything that you may require of me, on and after December 31 to assist in that process, should it be required.
I remain most sincerely and respectfully yours,
This report is from Portune’s obituary and from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.