He often describes Miller as a seasoned legislator whom he sees as his partner in working to close Maryland’s wealth gap. He has joked that when he asked her to be his running mate, he had no apprehension, much like on his wedding day. “I was so ready because I knew it was right,” he said at a fundraiser last year.
The Maryland legislature abolished the role of lieutenant governor in 1867 and didn’t bring it back until more than a century later, when Gov. Spiro Agnew became Richard M. Nixon’s presidential running mate in 1968. Most recently, outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan (R) turned to his lieutenant governor, Boyd K. Rutherford, for help while Hogan was undergoing cancer treatments.
Miller said her portfolio will include a broad focus on equity and specifically will include transportation, mental health and STEM education, areas for which she will draw from personal and professional experience. Her father, who is deceased, suffered from bipolar disorder when she was growing up, Miller said, and she plans to make improved mental health support a priority “for so many people who have been suffering.”
“I think it’s an effort to divide communities. And that’s not what we’re about. Maybe in the old country, those divisions existed, but I’m an American,” Miller said, adding that she has attended events where she has been called “an awful person” and that the criticism is hurtful not just to the campaign, but also to her family.
Miller came to the United States when she was 7. Her father, who migrated after the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 removed racial and national-origin quotas to allow a new generation of immigrants to enter the United States, returned to India in 1972 to tell Aruna’s grandmother, with whom Aruna had lived since she was about 1 year old, that it was time for his daughter to join him, her mother and two siblings in the United States.
“My dad was a stranger to me. My siblings were strangers to me, my mom, all of it,” said Miller, who also said she doesn’t remember any of her time in India as a child because of the trauma she said she experienced leaving her grandmother. “So I came to this country, you know, like they say, a stranger in a strange land, with a strange family.”
“When you have that kind of opportunity, you know, you have a responsibility to do what you can to give back,” she said of her decision to work in the public sector, initially with Los Angeles County Public Works, and later, after joining her then-fiance, David Miller, on the East Coast, in a job with Montgomery County. The two have three adult daughters.
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