The Indian American Democrat has raised an impressive $356,000 over a two-month period.
Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller has told The American Bazaar Friday that she’s running for Congress from the state’s open sixth congressional district. The Democrat’s decision follows an announcement by incumbent John Delaney, via a Washington Post oped, that he’s running for president in 2020.
Miller, an Indian American, had taken the first step toward a congressional run when she filed papers with the Federal Election Commission in early May.
Since then she has been raising money at good pace. In the second quarter, Miller has raised $355,581.50, according FEC records. Nearly all of it was in individual contributions. The second quarter covers the months of April, May and June, and considering that she filed the paper in May, it’s impressive amount.
In an interview with The American Bazaar in May, Miller had said that should Delaney “decides not to run, I am running.”
On Friday, the congressman decided he will not seek election and, instead will run for president.
“The American people are far greater than the sum of our political parties,” Delaney wrote in the oped that went live on the Post website at 1:08 pm, Friday. “It is time for us to rise above our broken politics and renew the spirit that enabled us to achieve the seemingly impossible. This is why I am running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.”
Shortly afterward, in an email to her supporters, Miller praised the congressman’s service.
“I am thankful for Congressman Delaney’s service to our state and our country,” she wrote. “He has brought creativity and a fresh approach to problem-solving that has been not only good for his constituents, but healthy for the national debate in Washington.”
Miller, who has been representing the state’s 15th legislative district in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2011, pointed out that “Delaney advanced the important debate on infrastructure, a critical need in our country.”
The Indian American lawmaker, who is a civil engineer by profession, told the Bazaar in the May interview that infrastructure is one of the issues she will run on.
In the same interview, Miller, who came to the United States at the age of 7, said that she wanted to “make sure that it remains a Democratic seat as this is very important for the state of Maryland and the people of Maryland.” She added: “I have resided in the 6th district for over 14 years. I raised my family here. My daughters all went to public schools here, I worked here as well.”
The 6th district is one of the more competitive congressional seats in the state. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, Democrats have a 6 point advantage. However, among the seven Maryland congressional districts currently represented by Democratic congressmen, it is the least reliably Democratic seat. Maryland has only one GOP representative.
Delaney captured the 6th district in November 2012 from Republican Roscoe Bartlett, who had represented the district for 10 years.
More than a tenth of the voters in the district, which has a significant Indian American population, are Asian Americans.