Del. Sam Arora has chosen to not run for re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates.
Arora (D-Dist. 19) of Silver Spring made his decision public Friday, saying in an interview with The Gazette that he will spend his time working in the private sector and focusing on his family.
Arora was first elected in 2010. His decision opens a seat in District 19 for the 2014 election, where at least two challengers and two incumbents have filed to run for the House.
More than a month ago, the three other District 19 lawmakers — Sen. Robert Manno and Dels. Bonnie L. Cullison and Benjamin F. Kramer — disclosed plans to campaign for re-election as a slate, without Arora. Kramer said the slate disagreed with Arora’s vote against same-sex marriage after he initially supported it.
Arora said the backlash from his vote on same-sex marriage did “not really” play a part in his decision not to run again.
“At end of day, as a legislator, you are going to vote the way you think is wisest,” Arora said of the criticism he has faced for that vote. “You will always have critics, particularly if you do things that are a bit more independent. That is part of the job and part of what happens.”
As he mulled another term, Arora said, he questioned if he could continue to commit fully to his obligations as a lawmaker, a businessman and a husband.
Arora, 32, said he and his wife are in the “season of life” where they are looking to start a family, and his family’s health care business, The Arora Group, continues to grow, he said.
“As I thought about it, I asked: ‘Can I put in the amount of time and effort it takes to be good delegate?’” he said. “Can all things be balanced? I want to do what I am committing to well, and that means, in this season of my life, stepping back from serving in this capacity.”
With only one legislative session left in his term, Arora said he is approaching it with excitement, considering carefully what legislation he will introduce in his final year.
Among the bills he has in the works are efforts to ease restrictions on microbreweries in Montgomery County, to close a loophole surrounding sexual abuse of students and making state regulations more predictable for small businesses. firstname.lastname@example.org