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2 Democrats back Raja

Published by Len Barcousky on .

The Republican candidate for Allegheny County executive today picked up support from two former Democratic office holders.

D. Raja appeared today with members of "Democrats for Raja" at a rally at the courthouse.

Democrats supporting him include Randall Taylor, a 12-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Public School Board, and Shawn Flaherty, a former state representative. Mr. Flaherty is the cousin of and political advisor to Mark Patrick Flaherty, the county controller. Mark Patrick Flaherty lost the Democratic nomination for county executive to former county council President Rich Fitzgerald in the May primary.

"I know something about leadership," Shawn Flaherty said at the event. "My father served in the courthouse that Raja is about to lead ... Because of Raja’s temperament, his integrity and his ability to find and create jobs, he is the best person to lead us into the future."

Shawn Flaherty’s late father was former Pittsburgh mayor and county Commissioner Pete Flaherty.

Mr. Taylor was on the school board between 1997 and 2009, serving part of that time as vice president. "I am a Democrat and will remain one," he said. "But I believe we must give Raja the benefit of the doubt. I am impressed with his vision, his talent, and his understanding that we can leave no communities behind."

"I know I am not the traditional pick," Mr. Raja said. "I am not a Democrat; I am not a career politician; and, as you know, I wasn’t born here." Mr. Raja, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is a native of India.

"But I very humbly ask voters to consider doing something new, something different to get our county moving," he said. "I humbly ask for your support."

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