A longtime Pinellas County commissioner has lost his battle with cancer.
- Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni dies of cancer
- He was 63
- Served on commission for 18 years; State Rep for 8 years
John Morroni died Sunday after battling the disease for 18 years.
Morroni was 63.
He is survived by his wife, Eileen, and their son, Mike.
Fighting his third battle against cancer, Morroni had been undergoing treatment most recently for acute myeloid leukemia, a blood disorder.
Morroni, in Bay area politics for 25 years, first served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1992 to 2000 as a Republican from Treasure Island.
He went on the Pinellas County commission, where he served the past 18 years for District 6.
Originally from Chicago, Morroni came to Florida in 1980.
Reactions from local leaders
Mayor Rick Kriseman spoke to Spectrum Bay News 9 about Morroni Monday.
"He was never in it for power. He was never in it for money. He was never in it for any other reason that unfortunately some people get into politics. He was in it because he wanted to make a difference in his community," Kriseman said.
Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth Welch also commented on Morroni's character and service.
“He had a great deal of empathy for the common person out there, the person who normally doesn’t deal with government. (He) always listened intently to what they were saying and just really was a person of the people,” Welch said.
“I think elected officials at every level could do very well by following John Morroni’s example,” he added.
Commissioner Ken Welch called Morroni a true public servant and a friend on Twitter Monday.
Other area lawmakers have weighed in as well.
"Our community has lost a tremendous leader and public servant with the passing of Commissioner Morroni," said Congressman Gus Bilirakis. "Those of us who had the pleasure to call him friend will remember his passion for helping others, his generosity of spirit and love of family.
"My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all who had the privilege of knowing him. May his memory be eternal."