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Raja, Iovino Squaring Off In Special Election To Replace Reschenthaler In Pa. Senate

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Two candidates are gearing up for a special election for state senate.

Either Democrat Pam Iovino or Republican D. Raja will replace Guy Reschenthaler.

It's the latest negative political campaign -- the race to represent the area's 37th senatorial district -- between Republican D Raja and Democrat Pam Iovino, both of Mt. Lebanon.

Photo Credit: KDKA

Iovino Campaign Ad: "Have you seen this ad from D Raja? It's flat out false."

Raja Campaign Ad: "Liberal extremist Pam Iovino will say anything to get elected, even lie about Raja."

If you believe these ads, you'd think both candidates are serial liars.

KDKA political editor Jon Delano sat down with Raja and Iovino on Wednesday to get their response to the attacks.

Iovino says Raja outsourced jobs as he built his computer software company.

Delano: "Do you outsource jobs in your company?"

Raja: "So we have an international company, offices here, offices in India, and other locations. Less than 3 percent of my business is outside the U.S."

Raja says when he started his company he did hire foreigners on visas, but no longer.

"In the dot com days, we augmented -- there was a huge dearth of talent at that point," notes the Republican candidate.

"I just cannot imagine that there wasn't an American to hire for it, whatever the skill level it was," responded Iovino.

Iovino, a 23-year naval officer who though a Democrat was appointed Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs by President Bush, is called a "liberal extremist" by Raja.

She says that's typical Republican playbook.

"An advertisement that comes out of the file against most Democrats, it's the first one that's run is to associate someone with the Speaker of the House."

Raja also charges Iovino with supporting late-term abortions.

"These personal, private, difficult decisions -- and usually when we are talking about something that is that late term, there is some extenuating issues of the survival usually of the mother -- I do not stand in judgment of a patient and a health care provider," says Iovino.

"I'm pro-life. That's where I stand," notes Raja.

The real question is who is going to vote in a special election on April 2nd.

There are about 190,000 voters in this district, but maybe only 40,000 are going to vote.

Democrats hope that the enthusiasm of the 2018 election still continues.

Republicans say, don't count on it.

The communities in the 37th Senatorial District are: Part of Allegheny County consisting of the townships of Aleppo, Collier, Crescent, Findlay, Kilbuck, Leet, Moon, Mount Lebanon, North Fayette, Ohio, Robinson, South Fayette, South Park and Upper St. Clair and the boroughs of Bell Acres, Ben Avon Heights, Bethel Park, Bridgeville, Edgeworth, Emsworth, Glen Osborne, Glenfield, Haysville, Jefferson Hills, Leetsdale, Mcdonald (Allegheny County Portion), Oakdale, Pennsbury village, Pleasant Hills, Rosslyn Farms, Sewickley, Sewickley Heights, Sewickley Hills, Thornburg and Whitehall and Part of Washingtion County consisting of the township of Peters.

The election is in just 20 days.

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