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|Pennsylvania State Senate District 37|
Raja is a businessman and the co-founder of an Allegheny County IT firm. He started the Business Mentoring Roundtable and served as founding chair of the Chair of University of Pittsburgh’s Computer Science Industry Board. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and earned his M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University.
Raja serves as a Mount Lebanon Commissioner and served as commission president in 2010. He is married to his wife, Neeta. They have two children.
PoliticsPA has named the District 37 Republican primary one of Pennsylvania's top ten most interesting legislative primaries in 2012.
On his 2012 campaign website, Raja outlines his campaign themes and policy goals:
- Government Excesses: "Pennsylvanians are being asked to pay for one of the most expensive legislatures in the United States. It is time to fix Harrisburg...I will disavow and refuse to take the legislative pension. I will work to eliminate the “defined benefit” legislative pension for all new elected officials... I will not take the unaccountable $160 daily per diem... I will actively workfor term limits..."
- Jobs: "Creating jobs in Pennsylvania will be my number one priority as State Senator... Pennsylvania’s anti-business policies have erected a fence around our state and kept out business and discouraged business already in Pennsylvania from expanding. We need to systematically dismantle these policies such as excess spending, high corporate taxes, and burdensome and unnecessary regulation. By doing this we can restart our economic engine and get Pennsylvania moving again."
- Spending: "We have to reduce spending. In particular the growth of spending in the welfare and corrections department are of particular concern and I will work to find savings in these crucial areas."
- Energy: "The Marcellus Shale offers our state and region a once in a century opportunity. We already have seen tremendous job growth from this natural resource, but we need to make sure it is handled safely for our environment."
- Liquor Store Privatization: "For too long Pennsylvania has been stuck in the past. Unlike the states around us, we have allowed the special interests to keep the state run liquor store system alive. I support complete privatization of the system."
- Life: "I believe life begins at conception and I will work to pass pro-life pieces of legislation and promote abortion alternatives."
- 2nd Amendment: "A strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I will oppose legislation that infringes on our right to keep and bear arms."
On April 10, the Republican primary candidates participated in a debate hosted by the Peters Township Republicans. Video of the debate can be found here.
Raja ran in the 2012 election for Pennsylvania Senate District 37. Raja defeated Mark Mustio and Sue Means in the Republican primary on April 24 and was defeated by Matthew Smith in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.
|Pennsylvania State Senate, District 37, General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Matthew Smith Incumbent||52.6%||70,883|
|Pennsylvania State Senate, District 37 Republican Primary, 2012|
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