The Indian American Democrat lost to self-financing businessman David Trone, who vastly outspent her.
Maryland Del. Aruna Miller lost the Democratic primary for the state’s open sixth congressional district on Tuesday.
The Indian American finished second with 17,315 votes, roughly 5,000 fewer than the winner, businessman David Trone.
Only 55,000 registered voters cast their votes in the Democratic primary. The presence of two Asian Americans — pediatrician and author Nadia Hashimi and State Sen. Roger Manno — did not help Miller’s cause.
Hashimi received 4,764 votes, Manno got 4,245 votes.
Trone, founder of Total Wine & More, reportedly spent $12 million of his own money for the campaign, vastly outspending Miller, who raised $1.5 million.
Trone had spent more than $10 million in the Democratic primary from the neighboring 8th district in 2016, when he finished second behind Jamie Raskin, who now represents the district in Congress.
Speaking to roughly 200 of her friends and supporters at a Gaithersburg, MD, restaurant, the candidate vowed to continue to fight for the issues she ran on.
“When I first started out this journey to run for Congress people said to me… ‘Aruna look you really want to give up a safe seat in the House of Delegates and take on this role of running for Congress?’ I said you know what you better believe it. I do and the reason why is because our democracy, our future and our liberties for every one of the kids that are here today, it’s worth fighting for and risking everything for and I don’t regret it one bit.”
She said the campaign was about “what we fight together, what we’re seeking together,” she said. “Tomorrow, we’re gonna get up and we’re gonna fight for democracy. We never take our eye off that. It is something worth fighting for. People have marched for and died for so we, you and I, could have the liberties and the freedoms and all the things that we have today. And that’s our responsibility to do that for the future generation.”
Watch Aruna Miller’s speech on the election night:
Earlier, in an interview with the American Bazaar, Miller described the campaign as “as an extraordinary journey,” which transformed her. “I met some incredible people and when you meet people from all different walks of life you can become a different human being because they share their stories with you, their struggles their challenges and how we can come together to bring solutions to those problems,” she said. “I’ve loved the journey.”
Miller also thanked the Indian American community for its support.
“They’ve been incredibly supportive and I’m grateful for that support,” she said. “I think the Indian American community, along with the nation, has woken up from their political slumber after the presidential election and are beginning to understand now why it’s important to be politically engaged.”
Here are some of the highlights of Miller’s speech:
I’m sure most of you know the story — and every immigrant knows his story — that my mom and dad risked it all came to the United States, stepped out of their comfort zone in order to give greater opportunities for their children. And I’m thankful for that. … They taught me a lesson in that that you should always step out of your comfort zone. That’s when life really begins. Get comfortable with the jagged edges, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s what my mom and dad and every immigrant that comes to this nation has taught me and that’s something that I hope you can take away no matter what you do in life.
* * *
I just want to say: Look, it isn’t over [tonight] … Life is full of disappointments. This is only one data point in that we’re gonna get up tomorrow, we’re gonna fight for democracy, we’re gonna make sure, as we move forward, that it’s about an inclusive America that we want to create. You know I spent my entire life, and I’m sure some of you have also been in this space, trying to fit into a space that didn’t have me in mind right and that’s not what America is about. We’re about expanding that space so everyone belongs and that’s what I want to work towards.
* * *
I want to congratulate every one of the people that ran in [the 6th] congressional district, to all the candidates who gave up their self, their time, their energy and gave the best of themselves to share with the voters. And the voters you know made a decision and they elected an individual and you know we’re gonna have to get up tomorrow morning, we’re gonna have to get up again to work towards something bigger than ourselves, something more important just than our campaign. It’s about moving the ball forward. It’s about moving that needle more towards progress. Progress comes in incremental steps. It’s never over. There is no final destination, but it’s about moving towards it little at a time. And I hope that you will all join us in making sure that we do this.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand endorses Aruna Miller (March 29, 2018)
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett endorses Aruna Miller (February 19, 2018)