With more than 100 friends and family watching, Scott Wagner took the 36-word oath of office on Wednesday becoming the 28th District senator representing the central portion of York County.
A Republican, Wagner, 58, of Spring Garden Twp., was to the unexpired portion of former Sen. s term of office that expires Nov. 30.
He stood with his hand on the Bible held by his fianc e Tracy Higgs, and daughters, Katharine and Cristina, to his left as York County Judge John Thompson Jr. administered the oath. His parents, brothers and future in-laws were among those seated at the front of the Senate chamber to witness the minute-and-a-half long ceremony.
Afterward, Republican and Democratic senators rushed to the front of the chamber to congratulate their newest colleague.
I m honored and excited to work hard for the people I represent and to bring change, accountability and strong leadership to the state Senate, Wagner said, in a news release. People have told me that they expect government to work for them and they are tired of business as usual. As a small business owner, I want to help create jobs and opportunities and bring fiscal responsibility to state government.
The president and owner of York-based Penn Waste, Inc. and KBS Trucking in Thomasville, Wagner joins the Senate following a well-financed and highly visible write-in campaign.
He beat his closest opponent endorsed Republican Ron Miller by more than 4,700 votes and Democrat Linda Small by more than 4,900 in last month s special election to become part of the Harrisburg establishment that he has railed against in recent years.
A funder of the conservative-leaning government reform group , Wagner said he will not accept a government pension or per diems. During his campaign, he also said he would not accept the health benefits either. And he said he would only serve two four-year terms.
Citizens Alliance Chairman John Kennedy was among those on hand to witness Wagner s swearing-in. Afterward, Kennedy said, It s a big day for the silent majority. It s been a long time coming. He is perhaps the first member who has arrived here against all odds.
Kennedy, who served in the state House from 1981-1988 and refused a pension at a time when such a move was unheard of, said Wagner wants to be a beacon for other members of the General Assembly who really do want to be part of a Pennsylvania comeback. We can do better than this.
He said he is hopeful this year s legislative election will result in more pension-shunning government reform-minded lawmakers like Wagner joining the General Assembly that Kennedy believes will help restore the public s faith in their government.
Wagner is a candidate, along with political newcomer Zachary Hearn, 37, of Windsor Twp., for the Republican nomination in the May 20 primary for a full four-year term representing the 28th state senatorial district. Democrat Linda Small, 53, of New Freedom is unopposed in her bid for the Democratic nomination.
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