He relinquished the gavel in 2019 after being identified with Stage 4 prostate most cancers and was changed as chamber chief by Sen. Invoice Ferguson (D-Baltimore Metropolis). However Miller saved his seat representing components of Prince George’s and Calvert counties.
Now, together with his most cancers spreading and the legislature set to reconvene in mid-January, Miller stated that he might now not meet the wants of his constituents and that it was time to retire.
“I believed I might proceed on. My thoughts is ok, however the most cancers is in all my bones,” Miller stated throughout a information convention his employees organized on Zoom from his house. “My physique is racked with ache. I’ve no energy in my proper facet.”
His retirement, efficient instantly, triggered an outpouring of reward from Maryland’s political institution.
“He’ll go down in our state’s historical past as a lion of the senate,” stated Gov. Larry Hogan (R), for whom Miller babysat when he was a toddler.
Regardless of his deteriorating well being, Miller had hoped to be in his seat subsequent month, telling a reporter in early December that he was nonetheless serving his constituents “day by day by e mail and thru the digital Web.”
At his information convention, Miller appeared alert, although skinny and pale in a crimson V-neck sweater within the library of his house in Southern Maryland. He stated he hoped he could be remembered as a “laborious employee” and an “moral” chief who cared about public training, defending the Chesapeake Bay and crafting laws with each Republicans and Democrats.
“If my legacy means something, we introduced the Republicans to the desk,” he stated. “If their identify was on a invoice, it didn’t imply it will be useless.”
He praised Ferguson for having “reached out to the governor, a person of a distinct get together.”
“That’s what it takes,” he stated.
Over time, Miller’s sturdiness made him as a lot part of Annapolis’s vista because the capitol dome. A pragmatist, he was adept at studying the political winds as his state tilted leftward.
Regardless of his average views, he backed the repeal of the dying penalty and enactment of same-sex marriage practically a decade in the past, and he led the marketing campaign to legalize on line casino playing in Maryland.
Reflecting on his tenure, Miller informed reporters that it was his well-known curiosity in historical past that guided him as he navigated legislative battles.
“I grew up earlier than tv. My aunts and uncles, for Christmas and birthdays, they’d give me books and I might learn and research,” he stated. “And I do know what different leaders have performed in related conditions. I’m capable of finding alternate options and transfer ahead.”
In his resignation letter to Ferguson, Miller bemoaned the rancor that has divided a lot of the nation in recent times, writing that “true compromise has grow to be the enemy of elected officers.”
“That lack of unity, incapacity to compromise, and perception that every political get together can stroll alone has an incredible value,” he wrote. “It leaves our citizenry cynical and indignant and shakes their confidence in authorities.”
Miller was as soon as thought of a gubernatorial contender, however his statewide prospects resulted in 1989 when he was caught on tv utilizing a profanity to explain Baltimore. He held on to his Senate management submit for the following 30 years, as eight governors got here and went.
However he stated the second had arrived to make approach for a brand new technology of leaders.
“It’s a youthful group with some very progressive concepts,” he stated. “It’s a superb time for me to step down, fairly frankly.”
This can be a growing story. It will likely be up to date.