Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller, candidate for the U.S. Congress from Maryland’s 6th District, won the straw poll held by Western Maryland Democrats, defeating her nearest rival by a wide margin April 21.
Miller is one of 8 Democratic candidates vying for the party’s endorsement in the June 26 primary. She got 140 votes to her nearest rival, businessman David Trone’s 76 votes in the poll held at the Western Maryland Democratic Summit in Flintstone, Maryland. State Senator Roger Manno, came third, getting 68 votes in the straw poll. Trone has reportedly spent more than $5 million of his own money for the campaign.
“This weekend, the Western Maryland straw poll for the sixth Congressional District was held. I was hoping for a miracle. And, I got it,” Miller said on Facebook. ” I am told that for the 14 years that the straw poll has been held, the results have accurately predicted the primary winner and that the margin of victory has never been this large,” Miller added, thanking her volunteers “who poured their heart and soul into the exciting day.”
According to The Washington Post, party activists at the summit, came from Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties for the two-day meeting.
Miller is running to fill the seat being vacated by Rep. John Delaney who plans to run for president in 2020.
Miller is gaining ground in the race, and recently received the endorsement from the political wing of the National Education Association, potentially putting the more than 70,000 members of the Maryland State Education Association in her camp. The Sierra Club is also backing Miller. And the rising star in the Democratic Party, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has also endorsed Miller, as has U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown of Maryland. Manno however, has the endorsement of major organizations in the state, including the United Auto Workers, National Nurses United, some teamsters groups as well as other labor unions.
The Cook Political Report lists District 6 in Maryland as “Solid Democratic” which could mean that if Miller wins the primary, she has a good chance of becoming the 3rd Indian-American woman on Capitol Hill, following Sen. Kamala Harris of California, and U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, all of them Democrats. In the event of Miller’s victory on Nov. 6, there would be six Indian-Americans on Capitol Hill. The three other Indian-American representatives currently also include Reps. Ami Bera, D-California, Ro Khanna, D-California, and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois. All the four current Indian-American House members, have come out in support of Miller.
Ballotpedia, which lists District 6 as “safely Democratic” lists four Republican candidates running for the GOP primary which is also scheduled for June 26.
Miller, a civil engineer by training, came to this country as a 7-year old with her parents. She has served in Annapolis as a State Delegate for the last 8 years.