A pioneer in politics, Aruna Miller this year became the nation’s first Asian-American to be elected lieutenant governor and the first immigrant to earn statewide berth in Maryland. A native of India and a transportation engineer by trade, the 58-year-old Miller served in the Maryland House of Delegates before her election with Gov. Wes Moore last year. Married and the mother of three, she lives in Darnestown .
Here are three things you might not know about Miller:
She raises chickens in her back yard.
“We have three hens and a rooster who crows every morning at 5 a.m. They give us great eggs and we love them. We named each of our first chicks after spices; then, six months ago, a fox got into the coop and killed all of my Spice Girls except Saffron. We replaced them, but the loss was heartbreaking. When she heard about the massacre, [Maryland’s] first lady [Dawn Moore] called me; that’s how kind they are.”
She can’t pop a wheelie, but ...
“I have a motorcycle license, which I got in 2009 before I ran for office. My husband had a motorcycle, so I took a class and was the only woman to pass the test. It was fun to ride along with [David] and very liberating, with the wind in your face; you feel connected with nature. Then I got into politics and haven’t had the opportunity to take full advantage of riding the bike. But, one day, I’d like to ride again.”
Her teenage heartthrob made her day.
“Growing up, I had a huge crush on [singer and actor] Shaun Cassidy; I thought I’d marry him one day. Then, in 2017, when running for Congress, I got a Twitter alert that Shaun Cassidy was following me. I couldn’t believe it. I messaged him saying, ‘My adolescent dream was to marry you. Ha! Well, I did marry my dream guy. But thanks for encouraging my awkward younger self to dream a little.’
“He wrote back: ‘Thank you for your kind words, Aruna. Keep dreaming and good luck with your campaign.’
“To this day, I’m very proud of my celebrity follower.”