- An experienced campaigner with both political and policy experience, she served two terms in the House of Delegates.
Maryland could have its first Indian American lieutenant governor. Gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore, a Democrat, has named former state delegate Aruna Miller, 57, as his running mate in the crowded June 28 primary.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic and humbled to go on this journey with Aruna Miller,” Moore, 43, said in a statement. “She is a seasoned legislator who has fought for families in Montgomery County and across the entire state of Maryland in the House of Delegates.”
Moore also posted a video of his conversation with Miller when he asked her to be his running mate. “Here’s the moment I asked @arunamiller to be the next lieutenant governor for the state of Maryland,” he tweeted. “She is a seasoned legislator and civil and transportation engineer who will make an extraordinary lieutenant governor for the people of Maryland!”
Miller told The Washington Post that she “never planned to be a lieutenant governor,” until she met Wes Moore. She said she walked away so convinced that “he is the future of Maryland and that I would do anything I could to help elect him, to make sure he would be the next governor.”
Moore, an author and former nonprofit executive, has never held or run for public office. Miller, on the other hand, is an experienced campaigner who has both political and policy experience. She served two terms in the House of Delegates during the terms of both Govs. Martin O’Malley (D) and Larry Hogan (R). She spent four years on the House Ways and Means Committee and four years on the Appropriations Committee, working on issues like paid family leave, transportation policy, domestic violence, and STEM education, among many others. She served in the General Assembly.
The Washington Post notes that “Miller brings legislative and campaign experience to the ticket,” as well as a “geographical balance to Moore’s ticket,” as “a longtime resident of voter-rich Montgomery County.”
In 2017, Miller launched a bid for the 6th Congressional District to replace Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), but she lost to multimillionaire businessman David Trone in the Democratic primary, finishing second.
An engineer by training, Miller immigrated to the United States from Hyderabad when she was 7 years old. She learned English while in the public school system, graduated high school, and attended college at what is now called Missouri University of Science and Technology.
She began her career as a civil engineer in Maryland and worked for Montgomery County for over 25 years. In 2010, she was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates where she represents the 15th District and serves on the Appropriations Committee.
Miller lives in the 6th Congressional District with her husband, David, her mother, Hema, and their two dogs Lucy and Scout. Aruna and David also have three adult daughters Meena, Chloe, and Sasha.
Democrats in the fray to replace Republican Governor Larry Hogan, who is term-limited, include Ashwani Jain, program director for the National Kidney Foundation, who held several positions in the Obama White House; former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III Jon Baron of Montgomery County, who works in public policy with a philanthropic organization; former education secretary John B. King; former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler; Comptroller Peter Franchot; and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez. The Republicans vying for the title of Maryland governor are Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz, perennial Republican candidate Robin Ficker; Dan Cox and Joe Werner.
So far, three candidates have made their lieutenant governor selections, according to The Washington Post. Franchot has named Monique Anderson-Walker, who recently resigned from the Prince George’s County Council; while Baker III (D) has chosen longtime Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro. Republican candidate Del. Daniel L. Cox has tapped attorney Gordana Schifanelli as his running mate.
(Top photo: Wes Moore, a Maryland gubernatorial candidate, right, with former delegate Aruna Miller. Photo, courtesy, Moore campaign)