State Watch

Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., nation’s longest-serving state Senate president, dies of cancer

Mike Miller, left, pictured with Martin O'Malley, right, in March of 2012 in Annapolis, Md. (Getty)

Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. of Maryland, the nation’s longest-serving state Senate president, died of cancer at the age of 78 on Friday, multiple outlets reported.

The Democratic Maryland state senator had resigned Dec. 23, citing his failing health. He stepped down from his position as state Senate president in 2019 upon being diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer, The Washington Post reports.

Upon resigning, his colleagues voted unanimously to award him the title of “Senate president emeritus” in honor of his long-time commitment to the state government, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The Prince George’s County native and University of Maryland alum first ran for the House of Delegates in 1970. From there, he began a lengthy career in the Annapolis government that included a switch to the state Senate in 1974.

In 1983, Miller was elected Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee — a role he held until he became president of the Maryland Senate in 1987, according to his website.

In an interview last year, Miller said he hoped his legacy would be that he “did the best he could, under the circumstances,” “had a reputation for honesty,” for candor” and “for hard work,” the Sun reports.

Miller, described as an avid reader, especially on the topics of Maryland and Civil War history, is survived by his wife, Patti, one son, four daughters and 14 grandkids.  

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