Barve: Speaker Mike Busch Was ‘Greatest Leader’

House Speaker Mike Busch | General Assembly

Michael Busch was “the greatest leader I have ever known,” said Del. Kumar Barve in a Monday morning interview.
“An incredible sadness has come over me and I haven’t been able to shake it,” Barve said.

Busch, who served as the speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates since 2003, died Sunday. He leaves behind his wife, two daughters and two sisters.

“I wish everyone had a chance to work with him as closely as I have,” said Barve, who has represented a Montgomery County district comprising Rockville and Gaithersburg since 1991.

In 1991, both were assigned to the House Economic Matters Committee, where Busch eventually became chairman.

In 2003, former speaker Casper Taylor lost re-election, and Busch made calls to the other Democrats to secure his election to the speakership. Barve signed on to Busch’s efforts immediately, he said.

Democrats hold a 98-42 advantage in the House, meaning they’ll control who is the next speaker.

For today, which is the last day of the 90-day General Assembly session, Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones of Baltimore County will lead sessions as lawmakers race through hundreds of bills before the midnight deadline.

A handful of names have been discussed as Busch’s successor.

Jones might seek the position. Del. Maggie McIntosh of Baltimore, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, is a likely candidate. As is Del. Dereck Davis of Prince George’s County. Davis followed Busch as chairman of the Economic Matters Committee.

Some observers have speculated that the next speaker will likely be a woman or a person of color.

“History is calling there’s no question about that,” Barve said. “We have a good group of people to choose from. Among the prominent people, we have a number of people who can do the job.”

Barve again brought up the sadness of the day.

“For any system of government to work, you need leaders who are fundamentally sound human beings,” Barve said. Busch was that person.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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