A Democrat who has twice challenged an incumbent Republican for his House seat might soon be squaring off against him in a special election for Senate.

The Democratic Party of York County through an email vote Tuesday selected New Freedom resident Linda Small as the party's nomination for the ballot spot in a March 18 special election to complete the term of resigned Sen. Mike Waugh.

Small ran against state Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, for his House seat in 2010 and 2012; he's one of three candidates seeking the Republican nod in the special election.

A 53-year-old retired Navy master chief, Small was selected over political newcomer and Windsor resident David Colon, an engineer and project manager.

She said after Tuesday's vote that she appreciates the confidence of the Democratic Party and "I look forward to working with everyone to bring some positive change to the 28th District."

A state Democratic executive board must now confirm Small as the nominee, which local party chair Bob Kefauver said is expected by Friday.

Kefauver said members of the nomination committee were impressed with both candidates, but Small had an edge based on her broad political knowledge and previous campaign experience.

Her ideas: Small said she also plans to run for the full four-year Senate seat in the May 20 primary.

She's running for the seat because she wants government to work for "ordinary people," getting "back to the basics and growing an economy that supports family-sustaining jobs and strong public education," she said.

"We need to get corporations paying a fair share so tax increases aren't pushed down to working people," she said.

Small wants to increase government spending on infrastructure and operate under a "science-based" government that pays attention to global warming in its policies.

The government needs to plan ahead so the future doesn't have to pay for the past, she said, adding: "Somebody has to fight for our kids."

Small wants to promote healthy unions to increase wages for working people and support small businesses as "the true job creators," she said.

She would create policy to stop subsidizing fossil fuel companies and corporations "because 21st century energy policy needs to be renewable energy," Small said.

Public education: Small wants to increase state funding of public schools, revamping the state's funding formula so it stops creating winners and losers based on population changes.

She would pay for the increase in education funding through a drilling tax paid by natural gas drillers in the state's Marcellus Shale formation and through other corporate taxes, she said.

Property taxes would cease being the burden they are now because the state would be funding a greater share of education, so less money would come from local taxpayer sources, she said.

Small has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Small will face one of three Republicans vying for their party's nomination for the special election. They are Miller, Manheim Township resident William Anderson, and Windsor resident Zack Hearn. That decision is expected after a meeting Thursday.

- Reach Christina Kauffman at