Rumor Mill Cranks Up as Senate Dems Set Caucus Meeting for Next Week

    When the Maryland General Assembly session ended in April, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), who had been undergoing treatment for stage 4 prostate cancer, promised to keep his colleagues apprised of his health and said he would convene a meeting of the Democratic Caucus in November to discuss whether he was physically able to stay on the job.

    On Tuesday, Miller, Senate President Pro Tem Katherine A. Klausmeier (D-Baltimore County) and Prince George’s County Sen. James C. Rosapepe, the Democratic caucus chairman, sent a memo to their Democratic colleagues summoning them to a caucus meeting on Oct. 24 in Annapolis.

    The memo does not say whether Miller will discuss his health at the meeting or whether there will be any talk of succession. It’s fair to say that the formal and informal conversations among senators about who might eventually succeed Miller have intensified in recent weeks, and Majority Leader Guy J. Guzzone (D-Howard), Budget and Taxation Chairwoman Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery), Capital Budget Chairman Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Prince George’s) and Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Chairman Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s) remain the leading contenders in most members’ eyes.

    But here’s one clue that Miller, who has held the job for 33 years, plans to stick around a little longer:

    “Following the Caucus meeting, all members of the Caucus are invited to join Senate President Miller for a press conference regarding legislative issues in the upcoming session,” the email invitation to next Thursday’s meeting says.

    It concludes, “Have a wonderful week and we look forward to seeing you on October 24th.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.