State Del. Aruna Miller is off to a running start in raising campaign funds for a possible 2018 run for the 6th District Congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. John Delaney.
Miller (D-Darnestown) announced Thursday she raised $350,000 in the second quarter of 2017. Miller’s fundraising is notable given that Delaney, a fellow Democrat, has not yet decided whether he’ll run for re-election or some other office such as Maryland governor. He plans to make a decision at the end of the month.
Miller said in an interview with Bethesda Beat Thursday that she’s running her campaign as if Delaney is not planning to run for re-election.
“I believe, me personally, my gut intuition is he’s not going to run again,” Miller said when asked if she would continue her campaign should Delaney choose to run for re-election.
She added that she spoke to Delaney in May and he encouraged her to begin fundraising as he weighed whether to run for another office. Delaney said last week he did speak with Miller and other potential candidates and told them he’s fine with them preparing for a run.
“I think people are very excited about the prospect of our campaign and being involved,” Miller said about her fundraising total. “These are extraordinary times that we’re facing now. I think our country’s progressive values and individual freedoms are being threatened.”
The gerrymandered 6th District runs north from Potomac through part of Frederick County and west to include the entire Maryland panhandle.
Miller said the campaign funds were donated by Maryland residents as well as donors around the country. She plans to submit her donor list to the Federal Election Commission on Saturday.
Miller noted she has lived in the district as its drawn now for 27 years and raised her family in the county. She’s a former Montgomery County transportation engineer and has served as a state delegate since 2011. As a member of the General Assembly, she has championed issues such as protecting the Potomac River and improving transportation infrastructure and safety.
She was born in India and emigrated with her family to New York, where her father worked as a mechanical engineer. She attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology. She has three daughters.
If Miller runs and wins the seat, she could be the only woman in Maryland’s congressional delegation. Both senators and the eight U.S. representatives are all men.
Miller said she doesn’t plan to run on that possibility, although she did say having a working mother represent the state would bring diversity and "a different perspective."
“I’m a qualified candidate and that’s all I’ll say about that,” Miller said. “I don’t think gender should play a role here. Whoever is the most qualified should be elected to the seat.”
Other possible candidates who are considering a run for Delaney’s seat include Del. Bill Frick (D-Bethesda), who has also started fundraising for the race, and state Sen. Roger Manno (D-Silver Spring), who has been meeting with voters in the district over the past few months. Potomac businessman David Trone, the co-owner of Total Wine & More, has also said he would consider running for the seat if Delaney decides not to run for re-election.
Trone is also considering a run for Montgomery County executive.