Aruna Miller, a former Democratic state legislator, made history in Maryland on Tuesday as the nation’s first South Asian woman to be elected state lieutenant governor.
Miller, who emigrated from India in 1972 at age 7 and became a U.S. citizen in 2000, is also the first immigrant to win the lieutenant governor’s office and the first Asian American elected statewide in Maryland, according to The Associated Press.
“Ever since I came to this country in 1972, I’ve never stopped being excited for the promise of America. I will never stop fighting to make sure that promise is available to everyone,” she tweeted after the victory.
She also thanked Wes Moore, who selected Miller as his running mate and was elected Maryland’s first Black governor on Tuesday.
“[F]rom the moment I met you, I knew you were going to be an incredible leader but what I didn’t know was that you were going to be an exceptional friend. Thank you for your friendship and trust,” she wrote.
Miller graduated from the Missouri University of Science and Technology with a degree in civil engineering, the Moore-Miller campaign website said.
She worked as an engineer for Maryland’s Montgomery County Department of Transportation for 25 years before retiring in 2015.
She also represented District 15 in the Maryland House of Delegates for eight years before losing a race for Congress in 2018 in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, the campaign’s website said.
Twitter users and organizations shared their excitement with Miller’s historic victory.
The state's outgoing governor, Larry Hogan, a Republican, congratulated Moore on Twitter.
“There is no higher calling than public service, and no greater honor than to serve the people of this great state,” he tweeted.