AP NEWS

Hundreds attend funeral for Cincinnati-area Democrat

February 3, 2020 GMT

CINCINNATI (AP) — Hundreds of people paid their respects Monday in Cincinnati to a former county commissioner who died after a battle with cancer.

Officials from both major political parties and homeless advocates were among the many people who attended the public visitation and the public funeral service for Todd Portune at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati.

The 61-year-old Democrat died Jan. 25 at his home in Green Township. He served as a Hamilton County commissioner from 2000 until stepping down in 2019 for health reasons. He had previously served on Cincinnati’s city council.

Speakers at the funeral talked about Portune’s strength, humility and ability to connect with people. While health problems had often forced him to use a wheelchair and crutches, he still attended meetings and kept going despite considerable pain, said Denise Driehaus, a fellow Democrat and the president of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.

“He lived with a disability for many years; it didn’t define him,” Driehaus said. His work defined him.”

Hamilton County lowered its flags to half-staff in honor of Portune, who became one of the longest-serving Democrats in the Cincinnati region’s history.