I need your votes to serve you better.

By D. Raja

Editor’s note:  Raja is the Republican candidate in the November election for the Chief Executive for Allegheny county. He faces Rich Fitzgerald, Democrat.

I am really excited to be running for Allegheny County Executive.  As many of you are aware, this is the third highest position in Pennsylvania behind the Governor and Mayor of Philadelphia.

Let me provide the “executive summary” version as to why I am running. I came to Pittsburgh about 25 years to go to school and Allegheny County has given me the opportunity to be successful. I don’t see this opportunity being available to our kids and grandkids now. I have the private sector experience as CEO creating jobs and public sector experience as Mt. Lebanon Commissioner addressing budget shortfalls and even cutting taxes. Allegheny County has unbelievable potential; however, we are in a slow decline due to “business as usual” politics. With my private and public sector experience, I know what need to be done to achieve our full potential in Allegheny County and want to bring us back to being a region for opportunity and economic prosperity.

I am including a question that many voters in Allegheny County have along with my response.

Q. Can a guy born in India ever expect to win in Allegheny County?

A. Let me share the response that key democratic elected official’s mother came up with: “If you can trust your life to an Indian Doctor, you most certainly can trust Allegheny County to an Indian CEO.”

Like many of the readers, I came to Pittsburgh twenty-five years ago to complete my education and for my chance at the American dream. I got my Masters in Computer Science from Pitt and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. Shortly after I came to Pittsburgh, I joined Lockeed and spent about six years with this company. Lockheed moved its top management from Pittsburgh to the Silicon Valley. I went to the Silicon Valley and after spending time there realized that Allegheny County was home for me.

Let me share some of the opportunities that Allegheny County has provided to me. I co-founded a business in the spare bedroom of my South Hills apartment about 18 years ago. Today, I am proud to say that we are still headquartered in western Pennsylvania and employ hundreds of men  and women designing and building software for businesses all around the country. In 2007, I ran a heavily contested race for Commissioner in

Mt. Lebanon. I ran with a simple approach of a vision for Mt. Lebanon with specific actions to meet the vision and I won by a large margin. Mt. Lebanon has faced severe shortfalls each year since I have been on the Commission. I not only found ways address the shortfalls but also pass along two tax cuts during the past three years.

I met my wife, Neeta, an internist, in Pittsburgh and we live in Mt. Lebanon with our two daughters Isana (9) and Omisa (7).

As the numbers of Indians in the greater Pittsburgh area have grown, we have become an essential part of the community, contributing in many areas such as medicine, engineering, and business.  We, as Indians, have a long tradition of not being afraid of challenges and adversity; this has helped us to succeed in any area we choose to enter.

Now we have an opportunity to also make an impact in another arena in our region now : politics.  We, as a people also have a generosity of spirit, and in helping others in any way we can. This is another way in which we can make a difference and contribute back to the community that provided us the opportunity to be successful.  I am doing my best to bring as much positive exposure to the Indian American community in my campaign. Our community should look forward to an Indian American being able to achieve the Presidency of this great nation sometime soon.

I am committed to winning this race and have been working very hard on the campaign since winning the primary. Given the voter registration disadvantage, I need your help to win. Please join my team and help get the vote out, arrange fundraising events, get your friends/colleagues to attend the townhalls, put up our 4×8 signs or participate in any other way. Details the townhalls etc are available at www.joinraja.com.

I welcome your feedback. Please do not hesitate to contact me at 412-567-8448 or raja@joinraja.com.  Thanks.

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