When I worked in York, Sen. Mike Waugh was a staple.
The senator for the 28th District in York County, he was a great go-to guy for thoughts or comments on anything state government related. He has spent enough time in the legislature to speak coherently and accurately about what to expect from any given legislation. And his colleagues clearly held him in high regard, an assertion I'm making based on anecdotal comments my reporters would get about him during interviews with other legislators.
So Waugh's sudden retirement from York County delegation will be keenly felt (Gov. Tom Corbett named Waugh executive director of the Farm Show complex last month). His replacement needs to be someone who can step into big shoes immediately.
Let's look at who's in the race to replace him:
1. Linda Small, Democrat: Small, a retired Navy master chief petty officer, has run unsuccessfully for state office before, losing out to state Rep. Ron Miller, R-93. We'll talk more about Miller shortly.
2. State Rep. Ron Miller, Republican: I've always gotten the sense Miller has been patiently waiting in the wings for Waugh's Senate seat to open up. Miller is also generally well-respected in York County, and I'd put my money on him to win in the March 18 special election.
3. Zachary Hearn, Republican: Hearn is deputy director for claims for The American Legion in Washington, D.C.
4. Scott Wagner, Republican: Wagner is president and owner of York-based Penn Waste Inc. and KBS Trucking in Thomasville. I know little about his political background.
For the record, the 28th state Senate district comprises York city; Chanceford, Codorus, East Hopewell, Fawn, Heidelberg, Hellam, Hopewell, Lower Chanceford, Lower Windsor, Manchester, Manheim, North Codorus, North Hopewell, Paradise, Peach Bottom, Shrewsbury, Spring Garden, Springfield, West Manchester, Windsor and York townships; and Cross Roads, Dallastown, Delta, East Prospect, Fawn Grove, Felton, Glen Rock, Hallam, Jacobus, Jefferson, Loganville, New Freedom, New Salem, North York, Railroad, Red Lion, Seven Valleys, Shrewsbury, Spring Grove, Stewartstown, West York, Windsor, Winterstown, Wrightsville, Yoe and Yorkana boroughs.