Mt. Lebanon Commissioner To Run For County Executive

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — D. Raja will tell you he’s not a traditional politician.

In fact, he’s rather new to politics.

But he is a very successful entrepreneur who started a local company 18 years ago that created hundreds of jobs and made him wealthy.

Raja thinks he has the right combination of skills to turn Allegheny County around.

The race for Allegheny County executive just got a bit more interesting with the entry of an Indian American entrepreneur.

“I’m optimistic that we can fundamentally change government in Allegheny County,” Raja told supporters today, “and that is why I am proud to tell you today that I’m a candidate for Allegheny County executive.”

The first thing you need to know about D. Raja is his name.

“My only name is Raja, and I just took the initial D.” Raja told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano.

Delano: “So you prefer that everyone call you Raja?”

Raja: “Correct, correct.”

Delano: “Kind of like Madonna?”

Raja: “I don’t know if I would go there, Jon,” says Raja with a big laugh.

A native of Bangalore and later Madras, India, Raja came to Pittsburgh in the 1980s to get a Masters degree in computer science.

Why Pittsburgh?

“It was relatively simple,” he said. “They gave me a scholarship to go to school.”

Raja says he fell in love with this area and co-founded CEI, a software engineering company that employs 300 and has made millions of dollars.

“Mostly Fortune 50 kind of clients. We’ll go there, understand what they want, we’ll design the software, write the software, install it, and then we’ll come back,” explains Raja.

Raja tells supporters Allegheny County needs his business skills to make what he calls disruptive change.

“I work in the tech sector and there we always look for what we call disruptive change — that’s the kind of change that makes a company leapfrog its competition. That is the kind of transformational change that is needed today.”

Raja, a Republican, says his skills as a Mt. Lebanon commissioner will help as county executive.

“We’ve had budget shortfalls. I really feel that I’ve been able to look at the budget in detail and come up with ways not only to address the shortfalls but also to make some tax cuts,” he said.

On other issues like reassessments and Port Authority Transit, Raja is still doing his homework.

He is up against two other Republicans in the May 17 primary – County Councilman Chuck McCullough and Tea Party organizer Patti Weaver.

Raja has already put together a campaign team and says he will win the GOP nomination.


Allegheny County
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One Comment

  1. will g says:

    pretty sure he’s not a mt lebanon native

    1. Nina says:

      You took time to comment, but did you care to read the entire article? Of course, he i not a Mt. Lebanon native. I am sure it is a tough road for him.

  2. Shawn says:

    Who cares will g your so small minded there is a big world out there outside of you little box you call Mt. Lebanon

  3. HOPEFULL says:

    I would like to know more about this canidate, if he runs a successfull business
    maybe he could do good for Allegehny County, as opposed to Idiots like Dan The Tax Man or for that matter Fast Eddie.
    I just hope he understands there are other ways of saving the Port Authority than taxing bar bussiness’s and others who have thier own private bussiness
    like it’s thier resposibility to save the Port Authority.

    1. BGJ says:

      Examine his business operations carefully! He will sell out the jobs in the PA/US and ship the work overseas.

  4. DGH says:

    Anyone who has ever worked for or as a client of Raja’s, knows what a crook he his. Watch out for him.

  5. GPP says:

    He sounds like a smart guy. Maybe we should try a smart guy for a change. Scholorship to Pitt and a CMU MBA – we could do and have done worse.

  6. Shane Hatch says:

    Just say no to republicans. They love to cut taxes on the rich and cut benefits for the poor and middle class. want more potholes and higher tuitions? vote republican!

  7. Shane Hatch says:

    why is he concealing his fist name? [I’m pretty sure it’s not “D.”] Is he so ashamed of his Indian background he doesn’t want us to know his name?

    1. Priya says:

      i’m sure its b/c his first name is difficult to pronounce, not b/c he’s ashamed. south indians tend to have long, difficult to pronounce names, so he’s making it easier for people to remember. if you are that curious, i’m sure you can find out by looking at public records – just like trump got obama to show his birth certificate…what a waste of time and money!

  8. Mike says:

    Please explain how this is true when the “rich” (who you don’t define) pay a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?
    Please also explain why states that are run by Republicans like Texas and South Carolina have been growing in jobs and average salary per person (ie. everyone, not just the ‘rich’) and why Democrat states like NY, PA, and CA are bankrupt. Get off of the fear kool-aid the liberals feed you and try thinking for yourself.
    Also, look at voting trends. Most multi-millionares vote democrat rather than republican. (Trump has given much more to democrats than republicans). Most middle class folks who think for themselves and want the government out of their way instead of nannying them vote republican. Want more hand holding, higher taxes, terrible service and rapid job loss, then elect more democrats.

  9. Mike says:

    Also, Shane, what kind of a racist are you? You ask if he’s ashamed of his Indian background? You are a moron who probably like a lot of other yinzers has never left Pittsburgh. People in other countries routinely have ONE name. The two name system is common among Western nations. In fact, even in Western nations people generally had one name until about 500 or so years ago.
    And I’m pretty sure he’s not ashamed of his Indian background given that (1) It’s obvious from looking at him, and (2) he tells everyone he came from India. The only politician who tried to hide his name is our current president who didn’t want people finding out his middle name was Hussein.

  10. John B says:

    Dear Mike,

    Wow Mike, you’re really not providing any answers here at all. The “Rich”, who we’ll call those income earners in the the top 10% of the income distribution in the nation, have historically become more republican in their voting patterns in Blue states like PA, CA, and NY. It’s those in the states who aren’t well off that tend to be more swayed to the democratic side. However, that trend was bucked in 2008 when a higher share of people earning $245,000+ in yearly income were so disgusted by George W. Bush’s crass style, the finger-pointing social conservatism, endless ignorance, corruption/cronyism and fiscal excesses that they voted for Obama rather than McCain as a group (source: Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote The Way They Do).

    1. Bob K says:

      Wow John B. – you read one article and became a political genius. Congratulations! The city of Pittsburgh is broke and supported by social security and Medicare/Medicaid payments to our high concentration of elderly citizems… Who are dying off quickly.. Anyone who ignores these realities to talk about pointless voter trends is not worth listening to. This city needs an entrepeurnarial, competitive and intelligent leader to prepare it for the future (Like Raja). No more union backed beaurocrats vying for more of the same,

  11. Raghu says:

    Raja, We wish you all the best. May god help you. We hope you will resolve the main budget issues of county.

Comments are closed.

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