Skip to main content

Two Long-Serving Maryland Officials Leave Legacies of Service

By Mark Wolf  |  April 28, 2023
Casper Taylor Maryland
William Ratchford Maryland

Two men who left large and lasting legacies on Maryland governance died this week.

Casper R. “Cas” Taylor, once the longest-tenured speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, was 88 when he died Monday.

Elected as a delegate in 1975, Taylor was speaker from 1994-2003.

“Former House Speaker Casper R. Taylor’s work in Cumberland and his efforts to create One Maryland have left an impact on this state that will reverberate for generations to come,” Gov. Wes Moore said in a Monday statement, referring to a tax credit for businesses that invest in parts of the state that are struggling economically. “We are so grateful for his years of public service and celebrate his many accomplishments, which Marylanders benefit greatly from every day. Our family’s thoughts are with his loved ones, friends and former colleagues.”

William Sawtelle “Bill” Ratchford II, known as “Maryland’s chief fiscal watchdog” during his tenure as director of the General Assembly’s Department of Fiscal Service, died April 23. He was 90.

Known to his colleagues as “Ratch,” he guided the state through the recession of the 1970s and the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and was recognized as one of the nation’s most effective fiscal staff directors.

Before joining the state, he was executive secretary of the Maryland Association of Counties. His obituary noted he “had a fabulous distinctive quality, perhaps above others, which was that he made all others feel that they counted; they had something to say, and HE wanted to hear it.”

Both men were involved with NCSL and the conference sends condolences to their families.

Mark Wolf is a senior editor at NCSL.

  • Contact NCSL

  • For more information on this topic, use this form to reach NCSL staff.