Following the dropout of tea party maven Patti Weaver, the Republican establishment is coalescing behind Mt. Lebanon commissioner D. Raja for Allegheny County Executive. Raja's campaign released a list of endorsements today from GOP'ers from U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (whose Senate campaign manager, Mark Harris, is helping manage Raja's bid) to Mt. Lebanon commissioner Matt Kluck. The rest of the list: U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, state house Majority Leader Mike Turzai, state Rep. Randy Vulakovich, county councilman Matt Drozd, former U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart, tea party organizer Melissa Haluszczak (who lost a challenge to U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, in the fall), Edgeworth attorney Keith Rothfus (who lost a challenge to U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, in the fall) and radio host Glen Meakem.
The only remaining Republican in the race aside from Raja is former county councilman Chuck McCullough, who is about to go on trial for fraud, though that hasn't stopped him before.
Below the jump are the laudatory quotes from Raja's endorsers.
Photo by Post-Gazette's Pam Panchak.
I am enthusiastically endorsing Raja's campaign for County Executive. With out-of-control spending at all levels of government, I know he'll be a partner in restoring fiscal discipline. Allegheny County would be well served to have a County Executive who will put these fiscally conservative principles to action."
– US Senator Pat Toomey
“I am proud to endorse Raja for Allegheny County Executive. His experience creating jobs as a CEO, cutting taxes and managing budgets as a local commissioner, and his vision for creating jobs, is exaclty what we need in our next County Executive. Raja can win in November and bring new ideas and innovation to county government.”
-Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
"Raja is a proven job-creator who brings a fresh perspective to Allegheny County. He has the business experience and know-how we need to bring county government into the 21st century.”
-Mike Turzai (28th District)
“As a strong proponent of effective and ethical government, I am excited to endorse Raja for county executive. I know he'll always put the people of Allegheny County first.”
-State Representative Randy Vulakovich (30th HD)
“As a long-time member of County Council, I continually try to alleviate the tax burden on our constituents by looking for ways to reduce taxes in Allegheny County. Raja's experience of cutting taxes as a municipal commissioner is one of the reasons why I believe he would make an excellent Chief Executive."
-County Council Member Matt Drozd
“Raja is the kind of strong, principled leader that we need as County Executive. His experience cutting taxes and balancing a budget will be a welcome change from the tax and spend policies that have done so much damage to Allegheny County."
- Former Rep. Melissa Hart (PA-4)
"Allegheny County is in desperate need of some commonsense fiscal conservatism, and we are fortunate to have found that type of strong, principled leader in Raja."
-Former Congressional Candidate Melissa Haluszczak (PA-14)
“While working with Raja as a fellow Commissioner in Mt. Lebanon, I have seen Raja work hard to reduce spending, maintain services and lighten the tax load of the residents. Raja will be a County Executive who can make a difference.”
-Mt. Lebanon Commissioner Matt Kluck
"As a business leader, I am excited to endorse Raja. He knows what it takes to compete in today's economy and I know he'll work hard to create the business environment in Allegheny County needed to create good paying jobs."
- Former CEO FreeMarkets, Radio Host Glen Meakem
"Raja's story is the story of so many of our grandparents and great grandparents who came to this country because of the promise of its founding ideals. His passion for freedom and expanding opportunity is catching, and his optimistic vision for Allegheny County is very exciting."
- Former Congressional candidate Keith Rothfus (PA-4)