June 13, 2019

Maryland Senate Presidents Series Senator Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.

Maryland’s Senate President since 1987, Senator Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. has redefined the role of the Maryland Senate Presidency and served in the position longer than anyone in history.

A native of Clinton and a lifelong Marylander, Miller would come to the Maryland General Assembly as a staffer following his graduation from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1967. In 1971, he began his legislative career upon election to the Maryland House of Delegates. Four years later, Miller would be elected to the Maryland Senate and never look back ultimately becoming President of the body in 1987.

In a Senate Presidency that has lasted some 32 years and parts of four decades, Miller has overseen a period change and prosperity previously unseen in Maryland’s history. He’s widely lauded for his ability to moderately balance the needs of the ideological poles of the State Senate and deftly find consensus.

When asked about the length of his tenure and the tenuous nature of political power, Miller pointed to history when asked in a recent interview for Governing Magazine. The article states: “But Miller, ever the historian, is mindful of how precarious power can be, whether it’s his or anyone else’s. “I stand every day on the spot where the oldest surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence stood. He was Charles Carroll of Carrollton,” Miller says in his office, just steps from the room where George Washington gave up his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army. “[Carroll] was president of the Senate. He helped found our state, he helped found our nation, and he was voted out of office in 1800 right here in the capital city of Annapolis.” Carroll was a Federalist when people began to support Thomas Jefferson and his view that the national government’s powers should be limited. “It was a huge revolution, massive change,” Miller says. “If you’re a historian like I am, times change but the people don’t. They make the same mistakes over and over again.” It’s clear Miller has gleaned at least one lesson from Carroll’s story and dozens of others like it: to always be ready to respond when revolutions or massive changes are afoot.”

Clearly, Miller has prominently taken his place in the history of Maryland’s elected leaders and has fostered a towering and assuredly enduring legacy in the history of its’ Senate Presidency.