Del. D. Page Elmore, the Republican chairman of the Eastern Shore delegation, died from cancer Saturday after a brief hospitalization, according to his family. He was 71.
Mr. Elmore had been a member of the House of Delegates since 2003 for District 38, which includes Somerset County and part of Wicomico County. He served on the Ways and Means Committee and was chair of the Maryland Rural Caucus in 2005 and 2008.
His family said the area has "lost a remarkable man" who was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Mr. Elmore dedicated the past eight years to providing farmers, watermen and others with a strong voice in Annapolis, the family said.
"I'm saddened by the news of Delegate Elmore's passing," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement. "He served the people of Maryland's Eastern Shore honorably, and his service in the House of Delegates will be missed. My thoughts and prayers, and those of all Marylanders, are with the Elmore family on this difficult day."
In a statement, Michael E. Busch, Speaker of the House of Delegates, called Mr. Elmore a "true statesman."
"I am saddened today to learn of the death of Delegate Elmore," Mr. Busch said. "Delegate Elmore was a dedicated public servant who loved the Eastern Shore and always placed the people of the Lower Shore at the forefront of his work in the legislature."
Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach said in a statement: "The Salisbury University community is grieved to hear of the loss of Delegate D. Page Elmore, a friend of the campus and the entire Eastern Shore. … He had deep roots in Delmarva, and his love of the region and its people was immediately evident. A longtime board member of SU's Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture, he had a profound interest in preserving the history of the Peninsula."
Mr. Elmore was "generous with our students, especially the College Republicans, sharing time and his political experience, and encouraging them to become involved in politics."
Mr. Elmore was born in Nassawadox, Va., and attended the University of Richmond, where he majored in political science. He served as county treasurer in Accomack County, Va., from 1968 to 1976. He also owned a company, Shore Disposal Inc., from 1965 to 1998.
He was a member of the chambers of commerce in Crisfield, and Wicomico and Princess Anne counties, and served as a member of several other civic organizations on the Eastern Shore.
Mr. Elmore had been hospitalized at the Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, where he was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this month.
On June 19, Mr. Elmore said in a statement that he would not seek a third term because of his illness.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, three children and five grandchildren.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.