ANNAPOLIS, Md. — After more than three decades, Mike Miller is stepping down as Maryland Senate President.
On Thursday, Miller cited his ongoing battle with stage 4 prostate cancer as the main reason behind his decision, saying his mind is strong, but his body is weak.
Though he will no longer be Senate President, Miller said he plans to still remain an active Senator, serving District 27, in Prince George's, Charles, and Calvert Counties.
Miller, 76, has been Maryland's Senate president since 1987, the longest tenure in the nation.
He announced his cancer diagnosis back in January.
Following Miller's announcement, the caucus voted in Baltimore Senator Bill Ferguson as his replacement.
Governor Larry Hogan released a statement following Miller's announcement.
“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,” said Hogan.
Miller's decision marks the first time in nearly two decades, that both chambers of Maryland's state government will have a new leader.
This past April, the longest serving House Speaker in state history, Michael Busch passed away.
Miller joined the Senate in 1975 after four years in the House, while Busch joined the House in 1987, just as Miller became Senate President.
Delegate Adrienne Jones, of Baltimore County was named Busch's replacement.
Jones also released a statement on Miller and the new Senate President.
"Senate President Miller is one of the most consequential state legislative figures of the 20th and 21st century in the United States of America. He quite literally defines what it means to be a presiding officer in the modern political era, but his story is not yet fully written. I will continue to rely on his counsel, guidance, and friendship as I begin my first full legislative session as Speaker of the House. This will be an exciting year for both Senator Ferguson and I to lead our chambers to implement the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and invest another $2.2 billion in school construction. I congratulate Bill as we begin this new journey together on behalf of all Marylanders," said Jones.
With Ferguson as Senate President and Jones as House Speaker, both chambers will now be led by Baltimore area elected officials.