R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., a proud Eastern Shoreman who rose to become Maryland’s speaker of the House, has died, sources tell Maryland Matters. He was 83.
Mitchell, a Democrat, served as speaker from 1987 to 1993. He spent four years on the Kent County Commission before being elected to the House of Delegates in 1970. He rose to become chairman of the Appropriations Committee in 1983 and then became speaker after his predecessor, Benjamin L. Cardin (D), was elected to Congress in 1986.
Mitchell’s tenure as speaker coincided with William Donald Schaefer’s first six years as governor, and he became the presiding officer in the House at the same time that state Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) became president of the state Senate. Miller is still serving in that role.
Last year, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) dedicated the Kent Narrows Bridge along U.S. 50 to Mitchell.
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