TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Tompkins County Legislator Henry Granison announced at Tuesday’s legislature meeting that he will be stepping down from the governing body.

Granison, who was first elected to represent the Third District during a wave of new legislature membership in 2017 and was reelected in 2021, said his resignation will take effect on Oct. 31. His announcement, made while flanked by family members, was greeted with a standing ovation from his fellow legislators.

“As some of you know, I am going through an intensive treatment for cancer, and my treatment requires my full attention,” Granison said at Tuesday’s meeting, fighting through emotion. He said it had been an honor to serve on the legislature. “While my cancer treatment prevents me from completing my term, I am grateful for the great work that will continue, both because of my colleagues and my constituents.”

Granison has served as a vocal member on the Public Safety Committee and the Planning, Development and Environmental Quality Committee, while also leading the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Fellow legislators congratulated him on his service and gave him well-wishes—an emotional Legislator Anne Koreman commended his outreach to those in his constituency, as did Legislature Chair Shawna Black and colleague Mike Lane. Granison asked to be excused from the rest of the meeting to go be with his family, and a brief recess was declared.

“Henry has been a caring and decisive legislator, always taking the stand for what he believes and what he feels will be best for both his district and the county as a whole,” said Black in a press release about Granison’s announcement. “He has been known for effective communication with his constituents, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and for his commitments as the chair of our Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The County has made progress in many areas due to Henry’s love of community and commitment to equity. I know I speak for the entire Legislature when I say that we will miss Henry’s presence, and that his will be big shoes to fill.” 

A special election will be held within 85 days of the date of his resignation, according to the county.

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at