State Rep. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, has announced he will challenge Republican D. Raja for Pennsylvania's 37th senatorial district in November's general election.
Smith, who now serves the state's 42nd legislative district, will run as a write-in candidate. The winner of the election will fill the seat vacated by the former Sen. John Pippy, of Moon.
No Democrat sought the seat during the spring primary. Former Democratic candidate Greg Parks, who was also running as a write-in, dropped out of the race in June.
Former Mt. Lebanon commissioner D. Raja for the nomination earlier this year. The software company CEO to become Allegheny County Executive to Democrat Rich Fitzgerald.
Smith made his formal entrance into the race in a statement earlier tonight. It was widely believed that Smith would contend for Pippy's seat—readers of the blog PoliticsPA said a Raja-Smith match-up would be among the races this fall.
The 37th senatorial district includes Moon Township. Former Sen. Pippy resigned from the seat in June, six months before his term was set to expire.
Read Smith's statement on entering the race below:
Over the last several days, I have been approached by friends and supporters; Republicans, Democrats, and Independents; and voters from across the 37th Senate District to run for the State Senate. After discussing the opportunity with my family, I have decided to seek the nomination to become the Democratic Candidate for Pennsylvania’s 37th Senatorial District. I have been humbled and gratified by the outpouring of bipartisan encouragement I have received.
I am proud of my work with individuals on both sides of the aisle over the last few years and for my constituents. I have always advocated for common sense policies that will move our Commonwealth forward. I committed myself from my first campaign forward to being a champion of government reform and accountability, job creation and smart, fair tax policies. While we have made great strides in those areas, there is still much work to be done, and I believe I can have an even greater impact as a member of the Pennsylvania Senate.
I also want to thank Greg Parks for his commitment to public service and his willingness to initially put his name forward as a write-in candidate in the April Primary.
I first look forward to the Allegheny County and Washington County Democratic Party’s nomination process and talking with committee members directly when I respectfully ask to be my Party’s Nominee. I will then look forward to a positive and spirited debate on ways to best improve our community, grow our economy, and make Pennsylvania an even better place to raise a family, work, and start a business.