AAPI caucus backs Indian American candidate in Maryland governor race

iNDICA News Bureau-

The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Maryland has come out in support of Democratic Party candidates contesting the 2022 races for governor, lieutenant governor and comptroller.

AAPI community leaders led by Maryland State Senator Susan Lee gathered last week in Rockville to endorse Wes Moore for governor, Aruna Miller for lieutenant governor and Brooke Lierman for comptroller, the News India Times reported.

Senator Lee, who is chair emeritus of the Maryland AAPI caucus, said, “We can make history here.”

If the three candidates win the Democratic primaries and go on to win the state election later this year, they will become the state’s first Black governor, first Asian American lieutenant governor and first woman comptroller.

Lee said the state needs fresh leadership from a new generation of politicians who will listen to the people and involve them in administration.

“There’s so many issues that are so important to us in the 2022 election,” she said. “We have a lot to gain, and a lot to lose if we don’t get involved… You remember Georgia, Asian American Pacific Islanders made a difference in that race.” The reference was to the election to Georgia’s seats in the U.S. Senate in 2020, which were won by Democratic Party candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

Lee said Moore, a Rhodes scholar and White House fellow, wants to use his experience to bring people together on issues such as transportation, health care, economic development, bioscience, racial profiling, hate crimes and things that matter to families.

Describing Miller is a strong running mate, Moore said. “She is not just going to be the next lieutenant governor for the state of Maryland, she is going to be the most consequential lieutenant governor in this country.”

The Moore-Miller campaign promises quality public education, an economy that works for everyone, affordable and accessible health care, and safer communities.

Noting the inequality in the state, Moore said opportunities are available in plenty to some and absent to others. He pointed out that Maryland has some of the best technology companies in the world but some children still don’t have access to wi-fi. Likewise, the state has some premier medical institutions that treat patients from around the world while people just down the street from those institutions cannot afford basic health care.

Miller, who came to the U.S. as a child of seven, recalled that when she was in college her father lost his job because of a health problem, and she had to depend on scholarships and grants to become a civil engineer. “And so, upon graduating from civil engineering, I got into public service,” she said.

Miller went on to become the first Indian American woman elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2010, winning re-election in 2014.

Lee said Miller worked with her and Lierman to pass legislation on issues such as bioscience, STEM education funding, and to ensure Maryland has exceptional schools. She said Miller understands policy issues.

“While Aruna’s mother immigrated to this country from India, my mother immigrated to this country from Jamaica,” Moore said. “And come January, with your help, they will be sitting together in Annapolis at the inauguration of their two children to become governor and lieutenant governor of a state that helped welcome them.”