Sen. H. Wayne Norman Jr., a first-term Republican representing Harford and Cecil counties, has died suddenly. He was 62.
Details of Norman’s death were not immediately available, according to a spokesman for Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., whose office confirmed the death.
Norman was elected in 2014 and served on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Prior to his election to the Senate, Norman served seven years in the House of Delegates.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, a Republican who formerly served in the Maryland Senate, issued a statement Sunday saying Norman “died at his home earlier today.”
Gov. Larry Hogan ordered Maryland flags to be flown at half staff in Norman’s honor.
“The First Lady and I are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of such a distinguished public servant, husband, and father,” Hogan said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to Senator Norman’s wife, Linda, their two children, and granddaughter.
“Senator Norman devoted decades of his life to serving his constituents in Harford and Cecil Counties, first at the local level, and then as a Delegate and Senator. His important and dedicated work on the Judicial Proceedings and Ethics Committees will not be soon forgotten, nor will his steadfast advocacy on behalf of rural Marylanders and our veterans.”
Sen. Robert A. “Bobby” Zirkin, D-Baltimore County and chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, praised Norman for his bipartisan efforts on legislation.
“You leave your politics at the door when you work on issues. Wayne didn’t care about the politics of the issue,” Zirkin said. “He only cared if the legislation made sense to the law.”
“He was the type of legislator everyone could be proud of,” Zirkin said. “He was a very good friend and always had a smile or a kind thing to say. This is a tremendous loss for the Maryland Senate and his family and friends.”
Kristen Harbeson, poltiical director for the League of Conservation Voters, was staff to the House Environmental Matters Committee at the same time Norman served on the committee while a state delegate.
“He was a giant-hearted man,” she said. “We worked well together when I staffed the committee, and although we disagreed and debated sometimes, there was rarely any rancor, and any bad feelings were always short-lived. I could always count on being greeted with warmth and humor. He was supportive of me personally when I moved to the advocacy side, even though I represented interests he didn’t always agree with. I will miss him hugely.”
Norman graduated from the University of Baltimore with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1976 and four years later earned a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. He was admitted to the bar in 1981 and had a law practice in Bel Air.
He is survived by a wife and two children.