ANNAPOLIS — Former Maryland House Speaker Casper Taylor Jr. died Monday. He was 88.

Gov. Wes Moore said Taylor’s work as a leading state lawmaker “left an impact on this state that will reverberate for generations to come.”

“Speaker Taylor served Maryland with distinction for nearly three decades, as a member of the House of Delegates and one of the longest-serving Speakers of the House in the history of our state,” Moore said in a statement. “We are so grateful for his years of public service, and celebrate his many accomplishments which Marylanders benefit greatly from every day.”

Taylor, a Democrat from western Maryland, represented a district in Allegany County.

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He served as a member of the House of Delegates from 1975 to 2003 and was the speaker from 1994 to 2003. He was a native of Cumberland, Maryland.

The nonprofit news site described Taylor in an obituary as “a long-serving and powerful member of the House of Delegates who rose to become speaker but was ousted by angry voters after shepherding gun control legislation through the General Assembly.”

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, tweeted that he was saddened to learn of Taylor’s passing.

“Casper was a champion for Western MD, faithfully supporting the revitalization of the C&O Canal at Cumberland and rallying bipartisan support for ‘One Maryland,’ an economic plan that addressed the shared hardships rural MD + Baltimore experienced as manufacturing plants closed,” Cardin said.

Former Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, tweeted: “Maryland has lost one of its most devoted public servants today with the passing of former House of Delegates Speaker Casper ‘Cas’ R. Taylor, Jr.”

Banner staff contributed to this report.

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