WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement upon the death of former Governor of Maryland Harry R. Hughes, who served as Maryland’s chief executive from 1979 to 1987 and passed away today at age 92.
“Governor Hughes led Maryland with honesty, consistency, integrity and compassion. He understood that many of the most important functions of government were not those that drew the biggest headlines, and he would not shy from taking on intricately complex issues like tax policy reform or infrastructure upgrades. Having served for 16 years in the General Assembly and as Maryland’s first Transportation Secretary, he realized that making progress on issues like these were absolutely fundamental to promoting Maryland’s economic and environmental vitality. And it is in the environmental arena where Governor Hughes likely left the strongest legacy, as he signed into law the first multi-state Chesapeake Bay Agreement in 1983. So much of the subsequent progress we have made on restoring the Bay in the last three decades traces to this foundational document, and its passage was a tremendous accomplishment. There can be no doubt that Governor Hughes deeply loved the Chesapeake Bay and his native Eastern Shore alike. I consider myself privileged to have served as Speaker of the House during his years as governor and having had the chance to be his partner in advancing Maryland priorities. After he left public office, I made a point to see Governor Hughes whenever visiting Caroline County, and my wife Myrna and I had the chance to spend some time with him just last October. As we left, we remarked that Governor Hughes always reminded us what it meant to be a true statesman, and we are reminded of this again today as we reflect on having lost a trusted friend and advisor. Governor Hughes will be missed, but his lasting contributions to Maryland will not be forgotten.”