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Aruna Miller makes history as first Indian-American Maryland LG

Maryland Del. Aruna MillerHyderabad-born Miller will be first Asian American and the first immigrant elected lieutenant governor of Maryland

Hyderabad, India-born Aruna Miller made history as she became the first Asian American and the first immigrant elected lieutenant governor of Maryland with Army veteran and best-selling author Wes Moore becoming the state’s first Black governor.

The Democratic pair of Moore and Miller, 58, defeated Trump-backed Republican Dan Cox and Gordana Schifanelli. With Moore-Miller win, for the first time both the top two positions in a state will be held by racial minorities.

Read: Opinion | More than just money: Aruna Miller has courted Hindu nationalists for nearly a decade (November 4, 2022)

Only the third Black person to be elected governor of a state, Moore’s win flips the governor’s mansion in Maryland blue after eight years of term-limited Republican Governor Larry Hogan.

The former CEO of one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty organizations, Moore had the support of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, and the Democratic Governors Association had invested heavily in his campaign.

“Maryland, tonight you showed the nation what a small but mighty state can do when democracy is on the ballot,” tweeted Miller Wednesday as networks projected the pair winner in a keenly watched race.

“You chose unity over division, expanding rights over restricting rights, hope over fear,” she wrote. “You chose Wes Moore and me to be your next Governor and Lieutenant Governor.”

“Ever since I came to this country in 1972, I’ve never stopped being excited for the promise of America,” wrote Miller who came to the US with her parents as a seven-year-old child.

“I will never stop fighting to make sure that promise is available to everyone,” she added. “And this promise begins with a commitment to deliver a Maryland where we Leave No One Behind.”

“There’s no place I’d rather be than with voters! Our community has pushed us to be our best selves this campaign and I cannot even begin to put my gratitude into words for your commitment and support,” Miller tweeted earlier as voting was underway.

When he chose Miller, a former Maryland House delegate for two terms, as his running mate after winning the Democratic primary in July, Moore said he was “absolutely ecstatic and humbled to go on this journey with Aruna Miller.”

Despite some dicey donations, Aruna Miller is 10 times better (November 1, 2022)

First elected to the Maryland House in 2010, Miller has 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 others.

Miller made an unsuccessful bid for US Congress in 2018 from Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, finishing second in a crowded field of eight candidates in the Democratic primary.

Miller, an engineer by training, 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 has worked as a transportation engineer for local governments in California, Virginia, and Hawaii. She moved to Maryland in 1990, where she worked for 25 years for the Montgomery County department of transportation.

She was a member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and president of South Asian American Society. She received the legislative champion award, women legislators of Maryland, in 2018.

Aruna is married to Dave Miller, with whom she has three daughters. She currently resides in Montgomery County.

Miller, a former executive director of Indian American Impact, was endorsed by the organization working for greater Indian-American representation at all levels and several other prominent Indian-American organizations.

Read: Aruna Miller first Indian-American to win Maryland L-G race (November 9, 2022)

“Winning @iamwesmoore & @arunamiller will be a historic Gov & Lt Gov of Maryland!!!,” tweeted Indian American Impact director Neil Makhija. “@IA_Impact was so proud to endorse & support these wonderful individuals on DAY ONE (when they were at 1%!!). They are going to make Maryland and the country proud.”

“Love to see South Asian women shine! @ArunaMillerwas born in India, and now she will be the first Asian American and the first immigrant elected Lieutenant Governor of Maryland,” tweeted Reshma Saujani, Indian American founder of ‘Girls Who Code,’ nonprofit organization.

“She’ll serve alongside Gov-elect @IAmWesMoore, who just made history as MD’s first Black governor,” she noted.

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