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Pinellas County politico John Morroni to step down in 2018

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni announced Tuesday he would be vacating his seat next year, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

The 25-year veteran politician served roughly 18 years on the Commission and, before that, another seven in Florida’s House of Representatives. Morroni said he would not be a candidate for a fifth term on the board, wrote the Times.

Twice elected as a state lawmaker, Morroni served from 1992-2000. From 1993-1994 he was the chair of the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation. In 2000, he was elected to Pinellas County Commission, District 6, in 2000 and was re-elected. He served as chair in 2005, 2012 and 2015, according to the commission’s website.

“This is the right decision for me,” Morroni, 62, told the Times. “It’s time for me to let someone else sit in this chair.”

Current appointments he serves on include the Affirmative Action Committee, Forward Pinellas, of which he is the chair, and the Value Adjustment Board. reached out to Morroni late Tuesday for comment, but did not immediately receive a response before publication.

The Times also said his decision came about six months after the politician was given the all-clear by his doctors “after being diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disorder. He beat two earlier bouts of cancer,” the article said.

However, the commissioner said at the Tuesday meeting where he announced his plans his health did not factor into his decision to step down in 2018.

“I’m doing fine,” Morroni said after the meeting. “It’s time to go. I’ve talked it over with my wife.”

In July, Morroni said he would undergo a stem cell transplant treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome, which is a form of cancer.

At the time, he blamed the diagnosis on chemotherapy while under treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Les Neuhaus is an all-platform journalist, with specialties in print reporting and writing. In addition to Florida Politics, he freelances as a general-assignment and breaking-news reporter for most of the major national daily newspapers, along with a host of digital media, and a human rights group. A former foreign correspondent across Africa and Asia, including the Middle East, Les covered a multitude of high-profile events in chronically-unstable nations. He’s a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, in which he served as a Security Policeman, and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in political science. He is a proud father to his daughter and enjoys spending time with his family.

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