ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland State Senator Mike Miller on Wednesday relinquished a seat that he's held for nearly half-a-century.
"My heart and my mind remain strong, but my body has grown too weak to meet the demands of another legislative session," Miller wrote in his resignation letter to Senate President Bill Ferguson.
Miller made a similar statement last October when he stepped down after 30 years as Senate President, a spot which eventually went to Ferguson.
At the time Miller cited an ongoing battle with stage 4 prostate cancer as the main reason behind his decision.
Prior to that Miller, 77, had been the longest tenured State Senate President in the nation.
Miller joined the Senate in 1975 after four years in the House and represented District 27, in Prince George's, Charles, and Calvert Counties.
Wednesday's news drew reaction from many leaders including Governor Larry Hogan and U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen.
“Over the weekend, I spoke to President Miller as he prepared to make this difficult announcement," said Hogan. "It was a deeply personal and heartfelt conversation, as ours have always been. I have known Mike since I was a kid, and it has been one of my greatest privileges as governor to serve alongside him."
“Mike Miller is a student of Maryland history and his departure from its Senate marks the end of an era," added Van Hollen. "Governors have come and gone, but Senator Miller, with unmatched political acumen, has steered Maryland on a progressive course and toward a more perfect union."
Here's how Miller's successor, Senate President Bill Ferguson, responded.
"I am both saddened that he is unable to continue serving the people of the 27th District due to his illness, but honored to be able to celebrate his historic legacy of service to the people of Maryland over these last 50 years," Ferguson said. "I know how difficult a decision this has been for him to make, yet I also know that it is one based off the interests of his constituents and the people of Maryland, the quintessential trait of Senator Miller."
Read Miller's entire resignation letter below.