Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati said Thursday he had appointed D. Raja, who sought a state Senate seat last year, to the board of directors of the Port Authority of Allegheny County.
The appointment was possible because of a bill, sponsored by Mr. Scarnati, that gave appointments on the Port Authority board to the governor and state legislators as well as the Allegheny County executive.
Previously, the county executive appointed all nine board members. The new law, signed in July, calls for the board to have 11 members, with five appointees from the state level and six from the county.
Mr. Raja, a Republican businessman, was defeated in 2012 by then-Rep. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, in their bids to fill the seat vacated by former Sen. John Pippy, a Republican from Moon. Mr. Raja, a former Mt. Lebanon commissioner, had previously run unsuccessfully for Allegheny County executive against Rich Fitzgerald.
In a statement, Mr. Scarnati praised Mr. Raja's experience as a businessman and said that background will provide perspective during his service on the board.