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SD-37: Raja Joins Race for State Senate Seat

Now there are officially two.

Raja, Republican Committee Chair of Allegheny County and businessman, has announced his bid for the Republican nomination for the (soon to be) open state Senate seat in Pennsylvania’s 37th District.

This seat will be vacated by Congressman-elect Guy Reschenthaler, who cruised to a victory over Democrat Bibiana Boerio for Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District earlier this month.

In a press release making his bid official, Raja boasts about the support from various Republican elected leaders, including Sen. Pat Toomey, Congressman-elect Guy Reschenthaler, and two members of the GOP state Senate leadership, Sens. Jake Corman and Joe Scarnati among others.

“As State Senator, I fought to cut wasteful spending, lower taxes, improve our schools and eliminate job-killing regulations to put local families first. Raja supports these priorities and has the proven experience to continue my work, and that’s why I’m endorsing Raja to be our next State Senator.” said Congressman-elect Reschenthaler in a statement.

WESA previously mentioned Raja’s intentions to join the race in an article published two weeks ago, stating Raja “first tossed his hat in the ring in May, nearly six months before it was certain Reschenthaler’s seat would become available.”

Last week, Devlin Robinson, a South Hills businessman and Marine Corps veteran, joined the race for the GOP nomination as well.

Robinson touted his military service, serving three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as a positive setting himself apart from other candidates in the field and sees it as a “formula that is essential if the GOP is going to hold onto the 37th District.”

Reschenthaler served in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corp, volunteering in Iraq.  

In Raja’s release, he stated the priorities of his campaign will include, “education, public safety, and transportation” and will work to protect “taxpayers by cutting wasteful spending and to make government operate more efficiently for all our residents.”

Raja was the Republican candidate for this seat in 2012, but lost to (at the time) Democratic state Rep. Matt Smith in a close race.

Reschenthaler held this seat after winning a special election in 2015 to replace the seat vacated by Smith, who resigned to take over as the President of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.

Reschenthaler has yet to officially resign from the state Senate seat, but is expected to do so shortly before he is sworn into Congress in early January, according to WESA. After he resigns, the lieutenant governor selects the date for the special election. The date selected for the special election must happen within 10 days of Reschenthaler’s resignation and the actual election must be at least 60 days in the future.

Republicans have conferences picked by leaders in local and county party committees to select their nominee, WESA reports.

Although Raja and Robinson are the only two Republican candidates that have officially announced bids for this seat, rumors swirled at PA Society this weekend in New York City that 40th District state Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny, Washington) is mulling a run as well.

Raja has announced that he is “fully delegating his authority under the RCAC bylaws for the Republican nomination process” to the RCAC Vice-Chair, David Majernik.

23 Responses

  1. Raja is the only Republican candidate with the political experience to win and the only candidate with the business experience to fix the waste in government. The 37th would be lucky to have him as a senator.

    1. I’m a businessman, not a politician. I am a businessman, not a politician. I’m a businessman, not a politician I am a businessman, not a politician. I am a businessman…

  2. I think is Dan Miller runs is good or Rik Sacone would be winner or maybe Matt Smith again i would vote for him as winner or John Maher or me for sure…

  3. I am running for this seat as a Liberian. Please vote for me when you vote in these elections.

    1. Rick was a bad candidate. That is why he lost. Raja, on the other hand, is the best candidate for the 37th. He has a history of cutting taxes. He is a trusted business leader and reformer. He is the perfect example of the American Dream. In Harrisburg, he will work so others can achieve the Dream too.

      1. You must be talking about a different Raja. The one I know has a history of outsourcing jobs to India and running the Allegheny County GOP into the ground. Not to mention the fact he lost this same seat in a landslide. History will just repeat itself if he is the nominee.

        1. Haha, Greg must work for Cold Spark who is running Devlin Robinson’s campaign. He must have forgot they are the ones that ran the race that ended up 52/48 for Matt Smith. Hardly a blow out. Oh, and thought you would have remembered the Primary Raja won after the outsourcing attack was proved wrong and called out by the local newspaper. But I guess you need to change the facts to try to get your guy in. Sad and wrong again Greg!

          1. Because I realize your boss is a weak perennial candidate? No, that just makes me one of the many voters in Western PA who’ve repeatedly not elected Raja. . .no matter how many times he runs and loses.

        2. Running the county party into the ground? Where do you get your information, Greg? Coldspark? RCAC is no longer in debt and has grown every year since Raja took over. Facts matter Greg.

  4. Zakrey Bissell is right about one thing…the Harrisburg and D.C. liberals just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in multiple Allegheny County legislative races trying to buy seats for their extreme agenda. Republicans need to nominate someone with a proven record of cutting taxes and creating jobs along with the resources to run a competitive race in this tough district. Raja is the right person at the right time.

    1. Stop with the same old failed propaganda. Cutting taxes is just cutting necessary revenue. You trickledown / supply side economic idiots are just bankrupting our country at all levels of government. In order to provide the necessary services, government at all levels needs to be well funded – and the wealthy should pay their fair share. Even worse is that the wealthy business owners always want corporate welfare. They won’t create 1 job unless they get tax exemptions, free infrastructure upgrades and have the middle class foot the bill for public education so they can have educated employees to hire.

      1. The Beast is right! Can we require every man, woman and young adult earning money to pay 50% of their income to the government to ensure all governments are “well funded” and able to provide the services we count on to live our lives? But to make it even more fair, can we force the wealthy to pay 75% of all their income to even things out more? Seriously, why hasn’t any country thought of this yet? Government shouldn’t just pay for infrastructure, public safety, schools, welfare and to protect our borders for example, it can now pay for free k-12 school, college education, health care, food, clothing, entertainment, cell phones, vehicles, homes and two week vacations. And everyone would still have 50% or 25% if you’re wealthy to spend how you want. Wow, a perfect society! The Beast for President!

    1. Interesting, but that didn’t seem to stop him from creating hundreds of jobs for local residents in and around Pittsburgh, cutting taxes as an elected official in Mt. Lebanon and leading on reform to protect taxpayers across the Commonwealth. Go Raja!

  5. Raja’s business experience is exactly what is needed in Harrisburg and the right choice for taxpayers.

  6. I think this is a Clinton district and i’m hoping of we get a democrat is to announce a candidate soon because for a democrat can win this upset seat in 2019.

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