ANNAPOLIS, Md. (ANN) – Michael Busch, the longest-serving Maryland House speaker in the state’s history, has died.
Alexandra Hughes, the speaker’s chief of staff, said Busch died Sunday, surrounded by loved ones.
Busch, a progressive Democrat, had developed pneumonia after a follow-up procedure to a 2017 liver transplant. He also had heart bypass surgery in September, after experiencing shortness of breath.
Busch became speaker in 2003.
He was known as a consensus builder and an approachable good listener, qualities that helped him manage the diverse 141-member House of Delegates for as long as he did. Busch was first elected to the House in 1986.
His district included the state capital of Annapolis.
In a statement Governor Larry Hogan said “This is a profoundly sad day for Maryland. Mike Busch was a giant in our government—the longest serving Speaker in our state’s history. He cared deeply about improving the lives of Marylanders, and his legacy is evident in his many legislative achievements..Speaker Busch and I came from different sides of the aisle, but we often came together in the best interests of the people of Maryland. He served with the decency and good nature of a teacher, a coach, and a family man. I was honored to know him and to work closely with him.”
“On behalf of all Marylanders, the First Lady and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the Speaker’s wife, Cindy, their daughters, Erin and Megan, and all of his colleagues. He was raised in Annapolis, he represented Annapolis, and he will forever be remembered here.”
“Effective immediately, Maryland flags will fly at half-staff in honor of Speaker Busch’s distinguished life and legacy until sunset on the day of interment.”
Michael Busch was 72. Funeral arrangements weren’t immediately disclosed.