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4 Indian-Americans on Capitol Hill endorse Maryland’s Aruna Miller

Aruna Miller’s bid in 6th Congressional District climbs past $500,000 in fundraising

Aruna Miller’s bid in 6th Congressional District climbs past $500,000 in fundraising

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (India Abroad) The congressional campaign of three-term Maryland state legislator Aruna Miller has received a major boost as the four Indian-American lawmakers on Capitol Hill endorsed her and her fund-raising climbed past the half-a-million dollar mark. That tally has made her the candidate with the most amount of cash in hand.
On Nov. 20, Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) led the endorsement by the four Democrats: Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Ro Khanna of California.
“I am honored to have the support of my fellow Indian American public servants, and I am excited to join them on Capitol Hill. As immigrants, or the children of immigrants, the Indian-American members of the House are inspirational because they represent the best of America,” said Miller.
Miller, 52, who began her career as civil engineer and worked for Montgomery County for 25 years, said, “In this time of divisiveness and anti-immigrant rhetoric, it’s important to remember that the promise of America is that if you play by the rules and are willing to work hard, America is truly the land of opportunity. I want to make sure that is the case for the next generation.”
In 2010, she was elected to the Maryland Legislature where she represents the 15th District and serves on the Appropriations Committee.
The four endorsements come less than three months after Miller’s endorsement from EMILY’s List, a major resource for women in politics that reportedly has raised more than $500 million to support Democratic women candidates. Miller is the only woman running for the open seat in the 6th Congressional District vacated by Rep. John Delaney, the first Democrat to declare for the presidency in 2020.
The EMILY’s List nod was the first big endorsement for Miller and came early in her campaign – more than a year before the election. “We have learned this year that motivated and organized grassroots supporters can move mountains, and we know that with EMILY’s List support, we will take the fight to Donald Trump to protect our healthcare and our choices, to invest in our public education and programs like STEM, and to show that government works for the people,” she said. She noted that EMILY’s List places a strong emphasis on supporting minority women and had helped elect both Indian-American women to Congress in 2016: Jayapal and Kamala Devi Harris to the Senate.
There is no woman representing Maryland in the state’s congressional delegation.
The Hyderabad-born Miller began her political career by volunteering for her local Democratic Central Committee, going door to door and serving as a precinct captain. She officially entered the campaign for Congress earlier this year and raised more than $355,000 in her first quarter of fundraising. The EMILY’s List endorsement and the endorsements by the four legislators is expected to be a huge shot in the arm for Miller who needs at least $2-million to $3-million to run a competitive race in an expensive media market.
Miller is running against several other high profile Democrats who serve in the state House and Senate and also multimillionaire David Trone, co-owner of Total Wine & More. Two years ago, Trone ran unsuccessfully for Maryland’s 8th District in Congress, spending more than $13 million of his own money.
The 6th District is one of the most diverse in Maryland, with more than one in every 10 residents being Asian-American and more than one in four residents being black or Hispanic.
Last month Bethesda Magazine reported that Trone had raised just $41,000 between his August launch and the end of September, but augmented that sum with almost $750,000 of his own money. It noted that he ended last month with less than $57,000 in the bank, as federal disclosure forms show he spent almost all of his personal donation already, largely on consultants.
Miller, meanwhile, had the most cash on hand: $525,176.
Miller was the first out of the gate in signing up for a congressional run in early May, filing an official statement of candidacy in early May with the Federal Election Commission. That enabled her to appoint an exploratory committee, begin fund-raising for a potential campaign and also hire campaign aides. Her campaign’s first report with the FEC showed a campaign kitty in excess of $350,000 in the second quarter of 2017.
She out-raised fellow State Representative Bill Frick, the Majority Leader of the Maryland House of Delegates, who had also announced his intention to run for the seat, but had raised only $213,000 since creating his congressional campaign committee in mid-April. Last month he opted out, saying he is going to run for County Executive of Montgomery County.
According to Bethesda Magazine, which publishes Bethesda Beat, Miller had raised her substantial amount in such a short period “by tapping into a nationwide network of Indian-American professionals and entrepreneurs.” It said that more than 95 percent of her contributors in the latest report were of Indian-American ancestry “and among the latter group of donors, more than four-fifths reside outside the state of Maryland–with Michigan, Texas and Virginia among the top states from which Miller received contributions.”


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