One of the most well-known and influential state-level political players in the country, Democratic Maryland state Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., passed away from cancer at the age of 78, The Hill reported.
The honorable state senator is survived by his wife, Patti, a son and four daughters and 14 grandchildren.
Unfortunately for the long-running state senator, Miller was forced to announces his resignation at the end of last year, citing his failing health as the primary reason.
In 2019, Miller announced that due to a Stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis he felt the need to step down as the state Senate president. Given his decades of service to the residents of his state, his colleagues awarded him the honorable title of “Senate president emeritus,” in a unanimous vote.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted a statement concerning Miller’s passing, heaping praise on who he called a “dear friend,” WJLA reported.
Maryland has lost one of its most revered leaders, and I have lost a dear lifelong friend. My full statement on the passing of Senate President Emeritus Mike Miller: pic.twitter.com/jKe8wRIQ14
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) January 15, 2021
“Serving the people of our great state was Mike Miller’s life’s work, and he did so with unrelenting passion and courage for a remarkable 50 years. Even as he waged a hard-fought battle with cancer, I was blessed to continue to benefit from Mike’s wisdom and trademark humor. He was, in every sense, a lion of the Senate,” Hogan said in the statement.
A storied career
After graduating from the University of Maryland, Miller went on to run for the House of Delegates in 1970 to represent District 27.
After years of service in the realm of the Annapolis government, Miller made the switch to the state Senate, where he would cement his long and distinguished political career.
Miller managed to eventually win the coveted “Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee” position in 1983 and then in 1987, became the president of the Maryland Senate.
He would go on to serve as not only the longest-running state Senate president in Maryland’s history, logging an impressive 26-year stint, but also as the longest-serving state Senate president in the entirety of the United States.
Miller and his wife resided in Chesapeake Beach in Southern Maryland and he was said to be an avid reader, especially on the subjects of Civil War history and the history of the state of Maryland.