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Maryland leaders pay tribute to civil rights luminary Rep. John Lewis

After the death of Rep. John Lewis, stalwart of the Civil Rights Movement and powerful voice in Congress, condolences poured in from around the globe. Lewis, who faced extreme violence and often arrests as he fought for equality, was 80-years-old, and had been battling pancreatic cancer.

Maryland politicians joined the sorrowful yet triumphant chorus with their own messages Saturday, lauding Lewis for his life’s work:

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Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Congressman John Lewis yesterday. He was a giant among men; who believed that our country could be better than what it was and he gave his blood, sweat, and tears in that pursuit. He believed in the promise of America and its founding ideals of equality and justice for all. Congressman Lewis spent his life getting into good trouble so that we could advance as a nation.”

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott: “Tonight the world lost a giant. A man who risked his life fighting Jim Crow and ended up in Congress continuing to cause “Good Trouble.” Think of how far we have to go in this country and how much greater that distance would be if not for @repjohnlewis. Thank You Sir. RIP”

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Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby tweeted: “Two simple words: THANK YOU!”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan: “John Lewis represented the very best of our nation—a selfless public servant and moral leader who transcended the ideological divide. He spent the greater part of his life fighting for equality and justice, and he leaves an indelible mark on American history. It is a sad day.”

Maryland Sen. Jill Carter: “Two real civil rights legends - Rev. C.T. Vivian and Rep. John Lewis - gone on the same day. When great ones die, it feels like a mountain that covered us has fallen. Two most pious mountains collapsed today.”

Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, Adrienne Jones, D-District 10.
Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, Adrienne Jones, D-District 10. (Kim Hairston)

Maryland Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones: “My heart is broken with the loss of Congressman John Lewis. This morning, I am reflecting on his life: the struggles that he had as a young man fighting for racial justice and the efforts he made as a legislator to improve this country for everyone.”

Sen. Ben Cardin: “Until his last days, John Lewis showed us all how to fight, stand up for justice & get into ‘good trouble.' He marched through Selma & the halls of the Capitol with the same faith, courage & conviction. Today our nation mourns a true hero. Rest in peace my dear friend & colleague. "

Sen. Chris Van Hollen: “I will never forget traveling with John on three civil rights pilgrimages to Alabama, each time with one of my children. We marched with him and others, arm in arm, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where in 1965 he had been beaten bloody for marching for the right to vote. He showed us all the power of moral courage to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”

Rep. Anthony Brown: “I stand on the shoulders of giants like John Lewis - who never wavered even when the path before him was dangerous. He made “good trouble, necessary trouble” to help America redeem her soul. It’s now on us to continue his march toward justice. Rest well sir.”

Rep. Steny Hoyer: “America has lost a towering moral figure, & I have lost a dear friend. John Lewis lived his life with purpose and in service, as close to a Christ-like figure as I have ever known. He was a beloved colleague, a trusted representative, & a man of integrity.”

Rep. Kweisi Mfume: “With the passing of John Lewis America has lost one of her greatest heroes, and I have lost an old and dear friend. John and I were sworn into the historic 100th Congress as classmates 33 years ago.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin: “America has lost a national treasure. It is hard to measure the depths of our loss. From an awesomely young age, @repjohnlewis placed his body in the pathway of injustice, violent white supremacy and apartheid.”

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger: “John Lewis embodied the civil rights movement, inspiring millions of Americans to get into “good trouble,” as he called it. What a loss, but what a legacy he leaves for those of us still fighting. He will always be Congress’ conscience. #RIPJohnLewis

Rep. John Sarbanes: “America is fortunate to have been graced by John’s leadership, goodwill and spirit. May his memory constantly inspire us to build a more just and equitable society – and to redeem the soul of America.”

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Rep. David Trone: “America has lost one of its greatest. In some of our nation’s most challenging moments, John Lewis was a powerful voice of reason and courage. He stood up for what was right, fought for what was just, and achieved so much progress.”

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski: “John Lewis lifted his voice and spilled his blood for the cause of making a better nation for everyone. He dedicated his life to the never-finished job of perfecting our union. In his memory, we must continue to carry his torch, stand up for what’s right, and make good trouble.”

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball: “Congressman Lewis was a hero to many and will continue to inspire future generations for his ability to find ‘good trouble.’ His wisdom will be sorely missed by many across our state, and nation. Rest in power Congressman.”

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