ANNAPOLIS — Sheila Hixson, who served more than four decades in the Maryland General Assembly, has died. She was 89.
U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, along with state Sen. Will Smith and Dels. Lorig Charkoudian, David Moon and Jheanelle Wilkins said in a joint statement on Monday that Hixson was “a trailblazer in Maryland politics and government” and the longest-serving woman in the legislature.
The lawmakers, who represent Montgomery County as Hixson did, described her as a “beloved friend and mentor.” They noted that Hixson “got involved locally and led the way for a generation of women running in Maryland elections at every level, always working pragmatically for progressive change.”
Hixson, a Democrat, was the first woman to chair the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee.
Hixson served in the House of Delegates from 1976 until 2019.
“Delegate Hixson was a leader on many issues that continue to impact the daily lives of Marylanders,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “She helped usher in significant reforms in the funding and delivery of public education and oversaw the modernization of our election laws and equipment. She was a long-time champion for the LGBTQ+ residents of our state and was the lead sponsor of Maryland’s landmark 2001 anti-discrimination law.
“Montgomery County lost one of our great leaders. We are a better community because of her decades of public service. Our county and state’s growth, diversity, and success is a result of her hard work and dedication. We will never forget this historic and trailblazing figure.”