COLUMBUS, Ohio — One of the longest serving elected Democratic officials in Ohio says a medically required amputation will not stop him from making the key votes for the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.

Board President Todd Portune announced he had been diagnosed with cancer during a Wednesday meeting. Portune says he will have his left leg amputated above the knee during surgery Monday in Columbus.

During his absence, the board will be equally divided between Democrats and Republicans — while Democrat Denise Driehaus will run meetings. The 59-year-old Portune promised the surgery won’t affect key votes and “any matter requiring my vote will have my vote.”

Portune was first elected to the Hamilton County Commission in 2000. He explored running for governor in 2014 before decided against making a bid.

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