A 35-year-old Iraq veteran is one of two Democrats vying for the party's nomination to appear on the ballot during a special election to fill the vacant 28th Senate District until the end of the year.

David Colón of Windsor, an engineer who works as a project manager in Hunt Valley, Md., said he's running to "change the status quo" of politics, and he wants to bring bipartisanship back into the political scene.

Serving as a drone pilot in Iraq for 15 months in 2006 and 2007, Colón said he was "the only Democrat in my platoon," and he's accustomed to hearing the views of others and working together for a solution.

"I don't expect either party to get 100 percent of what they want, and I don't think that would be fair," he said.

His views: If elected, Colón wants to pass Medicaid expansion legislation and increase the minimum wage, he said.

People who are working as clerks at local stores and other entry-level positions work 40 hours per week but aren't able to pay their bills for basic necessities such as rent and electricity, he said.

"It's not even based on the cost of living anymore," he said.

Colón said he also wants to engage younger people to help them understand democratic values. Voters aren't informed enough, he said, and he would want to educate people so they're able to understand complex legislation, such as health care reform, that affects their lives.


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He said he would also like to increase funding for education, but he said he's not ready to unveil his plans for funding and reform.

Colón is competing with New Freedom resident Linda Small for the local Democratic committee's nod to appear on the ballot for the March 18 special election to replace former Sen. Mike Waugh, who resigned to take the top job at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

The chosen Democrat will run against one of three Republicans in the election.

-- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.