By William F. Zorzi
Maryland state Sen. H. Wayne Norman Jr., who billed himself as “a common sense conservative” representing Harford and Cecil counties, died suddenly Sunday at his home in Bel Air. He was 62.
Information on the cause of death was not immediately available.
Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) ordered Maryland’s flags to half-staff in his honor.
“The First Lady and I are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of such a distinguished public servant, husband and father,” Governor Hogan said in a statement.
Norman, a lawyer with offices in Bel Air, was a member of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics.
A Republican, he was first elected to the state Senate to represent District 35 in 2014 to replace now-Harford County Executive Barry T. Glassman (R), after serving a term and a half in the House of Delegates.
Glassman announced Senator Norman’s passing early Sunday afternoon. He issued a statement saying he was “deeply saddened” by his death and ordered Harford County flags to fly at half-staff until Norman’s interment.
On Facebook Sunday, state Sen. Justin D. Ready (R-Carroll) paid tribute to his seat-mate.
“He was a great, fun-loving guy who had an incredible sense of humor and really knew how to break the tension and/or monotony of those long hours in the Judicial Proceedings Committee,” Ready wrote.
A lifelong Maryland resident, Norman was born Nov. 3, 1955, in Baltimore and educated there. He graduated in 1976 from the University of Baltimore with a degree in history. He later returned to UB and received his law degree four years later. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1981, and later was president of the Harford County Bar Association.
He was a member of the Harford County Liquor Board from 2005 to 2008 and the Harford County Republican Central Committee from 1998 to 2007.
Over the years, he has appeared with varying amounts of facial hair – from a full beard to a goatee. In the last year or so, he appeared clean shaven.
In his spare time, Norman enjoyed restoring antique cars and trains and was member of the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society.
In January 2008, he was appointed to the Maryland House of Delegates to represent District 35A, taking the seat of Glassman, who was appointed to the state Senate to replace J. Robert Hooper (R). Hooper had resigned because of illness and died of cancer later that month.
In 2010, then-Delegate Norman stood for election, running second in a five-person GOP primary for the two District 35A seats. He then ran second again behind Del. Donna M. Stifler, and the two Republicans defeated the two-man Democratic ticket in the general.
When then-Senator Glassman ran for Harford County executive in 2014, Norman stepped up as a candidate for the Senate seat, running as “A Common Sense Conservative” in his campaign that year. He won handily over GOP primary opponent Thomas J. Wilson by a 2-1 margin and then again in the general election, over Democrat Bridget E. Kelly, capturing 74 percent of the vote.
Norman had filed for re-election this year and faced no opposition in either the primary or general elections.
That means that there are now no candidates running for the District 35 Senate seat. It was unclear Sunday how that would be resolved, though Monday is the State Board of Elections deadline for central committees to fill a vacancy for an office appearing on the primary election ballot.
The Harford and Cecil County Republican State Central Committees will no doubt select someone to complete Norman’s term, through next January, and send that name to the governor for appointment.
Norman is survived by his wife Linda, a son, a daughter and granddaughter.
Funeral arrangements, which are being handled by McComas Funeral Homes, are incomplete.