Maryland state senator Thomas “Mike” Miller (D), the oldest US legislative leader, resigned on Wednesday citing health problems that prevented him from completing his term.
A letter from Miller to the president of the Maryland state Senate, Senator Bill Ferguson (D), obtained by Maryland Matters praised Miller’s colleagues over the years. Miller said he would resign because of his “weak” body.
The Maryland lawmaker has been battling metastatic prostate cancer.
“For more than half a century, I have had the privilege of serving the people of Maryland. During my 45 years in the Maryland Senate, I served with so many honest and committed senators – men and women from across the state who have dedicated themselves to making our state a better place on behalf of our citizens, ”wrote Miller.
“It is now with great sadness that I must write to you today to inform you that my service will end, effective today. My heart and mind remain strong, but my body has become too weak to meet the demands of another legislative session, ”he added.
Miller, who gave up his leadership position last year, was the president of a longest running state legislature in the history of the United States. He was first chosen as president of the Maryland state senate in late 1986.
At the time he left office, Miller’s mandate was praised by politicians across the state, including Republican Maryland governor Larry Hogan.
“As the country’s oldest president, President Miller has been a strong and unifying leader for the legislature and the state. Your constant presence and characteristic humor will miss you as president, but we are pleased to hear that Mike will continue to represent the people of District 27 in the Senate, ”said Hogan last year.
The Hill contacted Miller’s office to confirm the resignation.