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Raja's "Tough Night"

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Republican D. Raja of Mount Lebanon lost his bid for the 37th state senate seat Tuesday in what was a hotly contest race.  Democrat Matt Smith, who is also from Mount Lebanon and holds a state House position, beat Raja by nearly 9% for a Pennsylvania senate seat that has been controlled by Republicans for more than three decades.  In his concession speech, Raja said it was a “tough night.”

“This is not the way Anita and I and the kids thought that this would turn out,” Raja said.  “Considering this is the second run we thought we had built some momentum up, but unfortunately things didn’t go our way.”

Raja's "second run," is referring to his campaign against Democrat Rich Fitzgerald for the Allegheny County Executive last November.  He admitted losing the state senatorial race was harder than losing the county executive bid.

Raja said he would continue to be involved in the community, but didn’t provide specifics.  He said he feels “the need to serve,” and is willing to assist Matt Smith in governing the region.

“We took a message that I think is the right message for our region which is to grow the economy and get our education back,” Raja said.  “I think we had the right message, but we came up a little short.”

WESA will be surveying Pennsylvania candidates for federal and state office for the 2022 general election — tell us which issues are most important to you.