Scott Wagner isn't going to do a lot in the state Senate.

He's not going to take a state pension, taxpayer-funded vehicle or per diem, for instance.

He will not compromise his integrity, sell his vote or make back-room deals.

Don't expect him to weaken a woman's right to an abortion, prevent gays from marrying or meddle in religious affairs, either.

There are quite a number of laudable items on Wagner's not-to-do list.

And the Republican from Spring Garden Township has very little time not to do them.

Wagner, the Penn Waste owner who won last month's special election, was sworn in Wednesday and will serve the remainder of former Sen. Mike Waugh's term, which ends Nov. 30.

If he wants to keep the seat for a full, four-year term, he'll have to win a two-way primary May 20, then seal the deal in November by beating the lone Democratic contender in the heavily Republican district.

There are nine scheduled session days before the primary election — a little more than a week for voters and his new Senate colleagues to see Wagner in action.

Many voters already are sold on him; more than 10,000 supported his insurgent write-in campaign against the party's hand-picked nominee, propelling him to a historic victory.

But the same "tell-it-as-he-sees-it, party-be-damned" approach that appears to have tapped a well of discontent also has made for an awkward orientation period with his new co-workers.


A majority of them, after all, are members of that same party Wagner so successfully damned in an unusually bitter race.

Yet he'll need their votes if he wants to have an impact in Harrisburg.

Wagner does actually want to do something in the Senate. His agenda centers on business reforms, which he acknowledges would benefit his own interest. They'll also help his employees, customers, constituents and the economy overall, he adds.

Those who buy trickle-down economics — and enough York County voters appear to be such consumers — are going to expect Wagner to deliver on his promise.

While he intends to maintain his "outsider" reputation, Wagner said he's willing to work with any like-minded lawmaker to accomplish his goals.

And he recently made a peace offering ... sort of ... to the mainstream GOP.

"We beat the Republican Party," Wagner said Friday. "But I'm not somebody who's now going to get them in a head lock and start rubbing it in."

It's something — maybe not an olive branch, but at least a promise not to wrestle anyone to the ground.

In the end, and to his credit, Wagner seems to have a realistic take on the job ahead.

"It's time to start building some respect," he said. "Just because we won doesn't mean they have to respect me. And I would like to find other people in Harrisburg that I can respect."

Good luck.