For the second time this year, it's Small versus Wagner

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Oct 30, 2014 4:47 AM

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(Harrisburg) -- Democrat Linda Small's campaign for state Senate might be going by the saying, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." This challenge to Republican Senator Scott Wagner is her second one this year, after losing a special election in March.

Their policy positions haven't changed, but now there's another race at the top of the ticket.

Small hopes to take advantage of York native Tom Wolf's gubernatorial campaign.

"I really hope that when voters go out, they do understand that a governor cannot do everything by himself. And I certainly am a candidate that is going to be helping Tom Wolf," says Small.


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In the March special election for the seat, Small lost to Scott Wagner by more than 20 points, who has served since April 2nd.

She says Wagner's brief record in Harrisburg is bringing voters to her side.

"I think the differences are just even more clear. He voted for a budget which leaves the problems for funding education intact. Leaves the property tax problem intact," she says.

All but one Republican state Senator voted for Governor Corbett's budget.

But Wagner points to his work on other issues, like what he calls "paycheck protection".

That's when union dues, but also contributions from non-profits, can be automatically deducted from a state employee's paycheck.

He says he at least got every senator on record.

"It got to the floor and it got voted on. While it didn't win, and I didn't expect it to win, what it did was it told us who the yes votes were and who the no votes were," adds Wagner.

The Republican also bristles at criticism of his confrontational style.

He called for the leader of the state Senate Republicans, Dominic Pileggi, to step down last month.

"Listen, I have a 35 year private sector background. I didn't get where I am today...every decision hasn't been the best decision. But you know, I make decisions and I learn about people and it's just, listen, eight years? I think it's time for a change," he says.

The businessman names property taxes as his top priority, and supports a bill to end the levy while also increasing sales and income taxes.

Small, a retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer, says she deserves a chance because if elected, Tom Wolf needs Democrats to get his agenda passed.

The 28th state Senate District covers nearly all of the southern half of York County, including York City, as well as Manchester and Hellam Townships.

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