Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni says he'll retire next year



CLEARWATER — After representing residents for 25 years, Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election to a fifth term in 2018.

His political retirement ends a career that started when he served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1992 to 2000. The Treasure Island Republican was elected to the County Commission's District 6 seat in 2000 and chaired the board in 2005, 2012 and 2015.

"This is the right decision for me," Morroni said. "It's time for me to let someone else sit in this chair."

The announcement came about six months after Morroni, 62, received a clean bill of health after being diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disorder. He beat two earlier bouts of cancer. But his health, he said, was not the reason why he was retiring.

"I'm doing fine," Morroni said. "It's time to go. I've talked it over with my wife."

In July, Morroni announced he would undergo a stem cell transplant treatment for a form of cancer called myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS. Morroni called his diagnosis a secondary effect of the chemotherapy treatment he underwent for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

MDS is a group of closely related diseases that arise when immature stem cells in the bone marrow are damaged, according to the American Cancer Society. As a result, the bone marrow makes reduced numbers of red blood cells that carry oxygen, white blood cells that fight infection, platelets that prevent or stop bleeding, or any combination of the three.

Morroni and his family learned in September that his disorder went into remission. While recovering from the treatment, Morroni started attending board meetings again and handling duties as the chair of Forward Pinellas, the county's agency for coordinating transportation and land use plans.

Fellow commissioners told Morroni they look forward to working with him as he finishes his term.

Commission chair Janet Long joked that it's great to see Morroni acting "fiesty and ornery" as he continues to recover, adding: "We are so proud to be serving with you."

Commissioner Dave Eggers called Morroni a "mentor" and one "of the nicest politicians he has ever met."

Morroni, a Loyola University graduate and a real estate agent by trade, said he made Tuesday's announcement for the 2018 election so other candidates can consider whether to enter the contest.

In 2014, Morroni cruised to victory with 66 percent of the vote in the District 6 universal Republican primary and faced no opposition in the November election.

He called his years on the commission "wonderful." More importantly, Morroni said he is most proud of county workers and the job they do for residents.

"I'm proud of this whole organization," Morroni said. "I want to thank the people of Pinellas County."

Contact Mark Puente at [email protected] or (727) 892-2996. Follow @MarkPuente

Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni says he'll retire next year 03/21/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 10:35am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series


    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack


    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath


    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]