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Indian American politician Aruna Miller made history Nov. 8 evening, becoming the first woman of color and the first immigrant elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor in Maryland.

Miller, a Democrat who campaigned alongside Wes Moore, Maryland’s first Black governor, won her race with almost 60 percent of the vote. She handily beat out her Republican opponent Gordana Schifanelli, who received 37 percent of the vote.

Hyderabad Roots

“Ever since I came to this country in 1972, I’ve never stopped being excited for the promise of America,” tweeted Miller, who was born in Hyderabad. “I will never stop fighting to make sure that promise is available to everyone. And this promise begins with a commitment to deliver a Maryland where we ‘Leave No One Behind,'” she stated.

“Maryland, tonight you showed the nation what a small but mighty state can do when democracy is on the ballot. You chose unity over division, expanding rights over restricting rights, hope over fear. You chose Wes Moore and me to be your next Governor and Lieutenant Governor,” tweeted Miller.

Historic Win

Harini Krishnan, National Organizing Chair of South Asians for America, was jubilant about Miller’s win. “All of us at SAFA are truly overjoyed to witness our endorsed candidate Aruna Miller make history tonight as the first South Asian American woman to be Lieutenant Governor of a state,” Krishnan told India Currents in an election night interview.

SAFA’s Maryland State Director Shruti Bhatnagar organized multiple phone banks and door-to-door canvassing to support Miller. SAFA also marched with the candidate in the Potomac Day Parade.

The Power of Women

Shekar Narasimhan, founder and chairman of the AAPI Victory Fund, also hailed Miller’s historic win. It is a real marker for the community and a continued reflection of the power of women to take leadership,” he told India Currents. “There is more to come from Aruna.”

Miller is a civil engineer by profession. She was the first Indian American woman to be elected to Maryland’s House of Delegates, and served there from 2011 to 2019.

The new Lieutenant Governor is married to Dave Miller. The couple has three adult daughters.

Sunita Sohrabji

Sunita Sohrabji is the Managing Editor of India Currents. She is also the Health Editor at Ethnic Media Services.