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Government & Politics

Del. Warren Miller Announces He’ll Step Down From the House

Del. Warren E. Miller (R-Howard), left, and Sen. Benjamin F. Kramer (D-Montgomery), tout their legislation to reform the alcohol industry in Maryland in 2019. Photo by Bruce DePuyt.

State Del. Warren E. Miller, a Republican who has represented a rural and suburban district in Howard and Carroll counties for 17 years, announced Monday that he plans to resign at the end of the year.

“I have decided that it is time to refocus my efforts on my professional career,” Miller said in a letter to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) that was also sent to House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County).

Miller, 56, a lifelong resident of Howard County who lives on a small farm in Woodbine, was appointed to the House in 2003 by then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) to replace veteran legislator Robert L. Flanagan (R), whom Ehrlich tapped to serve as his Transportation secretary.

A member of the House Economic Matters Committee since his appointment, Miller was the lead sponsor of a controversial measure that came before the committee that will strip the state comptroller’s office of its duties regulating the alcohol and tobacco industries.

In his letter to Hogan, Miller also touted his legislation to create a state funding transparency website and his work to make Route 32 safer.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball (D) paid tribute to Miller on Twitter Monday night.

“Although we represent different political parties and sometimes differing ideologies, I respect his commitment to his constituents and our shared goals on improving the lives of Howard County residents,” Ball said.

Early in his political career, Miller worked in a variety of roles in the George H.W. Bush White House and for other federal agencies. In 1994, he served as campaign manager for then-U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Md.), who was then seeking a second term, and has also worked for other national and statewide campaigns.

More recently, Miller has been manager for business development with TKC Global Solutions LLC, an IT company based in Herndon, Va.

“I am hopeful that my replacement will bring new energy and vigor to my vacant position and continue to advocate for fiscal sanity and to protect Maryland Small Business from harmful laws and regulations,” Miller said in his letter to Hogan.

After Miller’s resignation becomes official, it will be up to the Republican central committees of Howard and Carroll counties to make a recommendation to Hogan for a successor. If the two party committees agree, Hogan almost certainly will ratify their recommendation. If they differ, Hogan can select one of the choices.

In a Facebook post, Miller endorsed Reid J. Novotny, a conservative activist, to succeed him, saying “he will make an excellent replacement for District 9A.”

Novotny, a colonel in the Maryland Air National Guard, ran unsuccessfully for the District 9 state Senate seat in 2018, challenging then-Sen. Gail H. Bates from the right in the Republican primary, losing 53.9% to 46.1%. Bates, who had spent 17 years in the General Assembly, went on to lose the general election to now-Sen. Katie Fry Hester (D).

Novotny raised $13,886 in 2019, according to a campaign finance statement he filed in January, suggesting that he was keeping his options open about another run for state or local office. His largest contribution last year ― $2,500 ― came from Thomas Kelso, who is Hogan’s campaign chairman and the chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority.

Novotny reported $13,406 in his campaign account in January, and was carrying $54,000 in debt ― loans he made to his campaign in 2018.

After losing to Hester, Bates was appointed by Hogan to serve on the state Board of Education.

Miller reported raising $26,990 between January 2019 and January 2020 and finished the reporting period with $28,426 on hand.

“I have many happy memories and hope to stay involved in Maryland politics,” he said on Facebook Monday.

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Del. Warren Miller Announces He’ll Step Down From the House