Longtime Senate President Mike Miller, who is battling cancer, this morning told his caucus that he will step down after presiding over the chamber for more than thirty years. The Democratic Caucus voted unanimously to nominate Baltimore City Senator Bill Ferguson as Miller’s successor.
“After 34 years as being President of the Senate, my mind is strong but my body is weak… It’s been a great run, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” Miller said at a press conference this afternoon. Miller plans to remain in the Senate, representing parts of Prince George’s, Calvert, and Charles Counties.
The longest-serving Senate president in the nation, Miller has held the gavel since 1987. He was first elected to the Senate from the 27th District in 1974, after serving as a member of the House of Delegates.
According to Maryland Matters:
Ferguson won’t officially become president until January, but with a unified Democratic caucus behind him – Democrats hold a 32-15 supermajority in the Senate chamber – his ascension is guaranteed.
As Presiding Officer of the Senate, the President’s duties include appointing committee leadership, appointing members to committees, assigning bills to committees, conducting leadership meetings to establish legislative agendas, and scheduling briefings for members of the legislature.
Following Senator Miller’s announcement, Governor Larry Hogan issued the following statement:
On behalf of a grateful state, I want to sincerely thank Senate President Mike Miller for his 33 years of dedicated service as president of the Maryland Senate.
As the longest continuously serving presiding officer in the nation, President Miller has been a strong, unifying leader for the legislature and the state. His steady presence and trademark humor will be deeply missed as President, but we are pleased to know that Mike will continue to represent the people of District 27 in the Senate.
I have immense respect for Mike Miller. For the past year, he has shown all of us what courage and determination look like as he faces a very tough personal battle. As we celebrate his historic tenure as president of the Senate, Maryland’s First Lady and I ask all Marylanders to join us in praying for him and his family.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.