Casper Taylor, a former speaker of the Maryland House, passed away on Monday. He was 88. Taylor, according to Governor Wes Moore, “left an impact on this state that will reverberate for generations to come.”
Moore noted that Taylor was “one of the longest serving Speakers of the House in the history of our state” and praised his “distinguished service” to Maryland over the course of over three decades in the House of Delegates. “We celebrate his many accomplishments from which Marylanders greatly benefit every day and are so grateful for his years of public service.”
Taylor was a Democrat who represented a district in Allegany County and was from western Maryland. From 1975 through 2003, he was a representative for his district in the House of Delegates, and from 1994 until 2003, he presided as speaker. He grew up in the Maryland town of Cumberland.
Casper R. Taylor Cause of death
On Monday morning at the age of 88, Casper R. Taylor Jr., a longtime and prominent member of the House of Delegates who ascended to become speaker but was removed by irate voters after shepherding gun control legislation through the General Assembly, passed away peacefully in his sleep.
Although Taylor’s exact cause of death is unknown at this time, he had been dealing with a number of health issues for quite some time.
After speaking with family members, House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) confirmed Taylor’s death during a bill-signing ceremony on Monday at the State House. Jones first entered the House in 1997, while Taylor was speaker.
“He was a friend and a mentor,” she reflected. It was a privilege to serve in the House of Representatives with him for six years. Speaker Taylor is the reason “One Maryland” is even a topic of conversation. He was a leader in our efforts to give everyone in the city the same shot at the American Dream, no matter where they happened to be born. The United Nations General Assembly will carry on his efforts and preserve his legacy. We will miss him dearly.
Taylor, a bar owner and community leader from Cumberland, was elected to represent Allegany County in the House of Representatives in 1974, when rural Democrats were still winning and conservative Democrats were in power in Annapolis. After only four years in the legislature, he rose to the position of vice chair of the House Economic Matters Committee, a powerful panel with jurisdiction over a wide range of topics pertaining to business, utilities, workers’ rights, and government regulation.
After R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., another rural, conservative Democrat, abruptly resigned from the legislature a year before the end of his tenure, Taylor was elected speaker by his peers and took office in 1994.
Who was Casper Taylor?
American politician Casper R. Taylor Jr. (December 19, 1934 – April 24, 2023), who has one of the longest Speaker’s tenures in Maryland history, served as House Speaker from 1994 to 2003. From 1975 until 2003, he also served as a representative for Districts 1C and 2A in the House of Delegates.
Casper R. Taylor Career
Taylor is credited for bringing millions of dollars in public and private investments, such as the state-backed Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort, to his troubled district in Cumberland. During his time in the Maryland General Assembly, Taylor drafted a number of bills, including the “One Maryland” bill, which offers tax breaks and other incentives to firms who relocate to economically challenged areas of the state.
Taylor was initially elected to represent District 2A in the House of Delegates during the 1975 session. He ran for and won the seat of District 1C delegate in the 1994 election.
Taylor was elected in 2000 and served until 2003. Reasons for his defeat include his support for some gun control laws, which were unpopular in the rural parts of his district, and the addition of four heavily Republican precincts in Washington County to his traditionally Democratic district centered around Cumberland.