Nov. 7, 2005 issue - As a contestant on "The Apprentice," Raj Bhakta was famous for his grand gestures: the bow ties, the walking stick, the time he hit on Donald Trump's receptionist. So it's not surprising that for his next act Bhakta is aiming for something big: Congress. Bhakta, 29, has never been elected to anything but project manager. But the real-estate developer thinks he'll defeat incumbent Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz in '06. "People would be remiss to think, 'Who is this guy from a television show?' We're not talking like I made it on 'The Real World'."
Beyond the prospect of Omarosa stumping for him, Bhakta is an unusual candidate. He's a pro-choice Republican with reservations about President Bush's policies toward Iraq and the economy. "One of the reasons I'm getting involved in politics is an overall platform of reform, reform, reform," Bhakta says. "Our government needs to begin focusing on education, health care and the environment."