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Former Fox29 anchor Dawn Stensland considering a run for Congress in the 7th District

Former Fox29 anchor Dawn Stensland considering a run for Congress in the 7th District

More than two years after she and her husband Larry Mendte became the center of a local media firestorm, former news TV news anchor Dawn Stensland is considering a GOP run for Congress in the 7th District, a move that could significantly shake up what has been a clear primary field for Pat Meehan.

If she ultimately got into the race—and a decision doesn’t seem imminent—Stensland would likely benefit from a raft of early, free publicity that could make her formidable, even as the party establishment is firmly behind Meehan, the former U.S. Attorney. Stensland already has name recognition not only from her eight years as Fox29′s news anchor, but also from the scandal that embroiled her husband for months last year, as Mendte admitted having an “improper” relationship with his CBS3 co-anchor Alycia Lane, eventually got a probation sentence for hacking and leaking Lane’s e-mails—and Stensland won some plaudits in media circles for handling the whole thing with grace.

Reached briefly by telephone Wednesday morning, Stensland, whose interest in the race was first floated by columnist Chris Freind on the right-leaning blog PAWaterCooler.com, was hesitant to discuss her possible candidacy on the record. But she did not deny being interested in the race.

“The only thing I can tell you you is I was married in Delaware County, half my family is in Delaware County, I love Delaware County,” she told pa2010.com. “That’s all I can say.”

The political obstacle Stensland would confront in the race are not insignificant. She and Larry live in Chestnut Hill, which is not in district, and would have to decide whether to move and face the inevitable “carpetbagger” charges or run from outside the district. And local Republican leaders, who exercise tight control over local races, have been firmly behind Meehan, to the extent that they helped prod businessman Steven Welch out of the primary earlier this year. With the GOP anxious to recapture the seat being vacated by incumbent Democrat Joe Sestak, the party has been determined to give Meehan a clear path to the general election.

But her media profile would no doubt provide a helpful, early advantage. She left Fox in the fall after her contract wasn’t renewed. But she shared her experience of her husband’s scandal in a candid interview with Philadelphia Magazine last year.

December 10, 2009 at 6:00 am

--Dan Hirschhorn

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comments

comments [49] | post a comment

  1. Bob Guzzardi

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Nice work Dan

  2. Karen

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Dawn should definitely run. Meehan was picked behind closed doors by the same old party machine that lost us the last couple of elections. Delaware county needs some fresh faces.

  3. [...] According to PA2010.com, former FOX29 news anchor, Dawn Stensland, is considering running against Pat Meehan in the Republican primary to represent the 7th Congressional District, which includes Conshy and West Conshy.  Full story here. [...]

  4. Guido

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Is Meehan pro-choice? If he is then I’m guessing Dawn will be pro-life and we will have another Republican primary about abortion. Fun, not…

  5. Stosh

    Dec 9th, 2009

    She lives in Chestnut Hill? That is no where close to the 7th District. If Dawn is truly interested in changing Washington, why not run in the 2nd district — where she lives — and help take a seat back for the GOP?

  6. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    I was told Larry and Dawn have been considering a move to DELCO for over a year. They have been talking to friends about it for some time now. She could pull a Sestak / Pat Murphy move and try to con everyone by purchasing an apartment, or she can tell the truth about their prior intention to move there. I prefer the truth, don’t you?

  7. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Guido – Congressman don’t decide the issue of abortion – end of debate. I do, however, hope she opposes my having to pay for something I consider murder. The Democrats want you and me to pay for it. That’s flat our wrong and immoral! But I’m talking about morals and Leftists in the same breath. My bad.

  8. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    “out wrong” that is.

  9. Lana

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Guido et al
    I am opposed to capital punishment 150% My tax dollars are used for that murder of a human life and I have to pay for it.Strange how you care about the unborn and yet YOU murder the living. I know revenge is fun but it is wrong. I am sure both of these people are for capital punishment and are anti choice so I don’t want either one. Murder is wrong, evil and immoral so where are your morals.

    Mother of 3 and grandmother of 4

  10. dave lewis

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Sorry Terra Firma, Military members even thou a lot of them are gone 20 to 30 years away. Are still considered to be living in their respective hometowns no matter where ever their duty station takes them.

    The 82nd Airborne isn’t all composed of people from NC.
    A member of the U.S. Military does not have to be a U.S. citizen either.

  11. Jim

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Dawn is a wonderful person and someone who I am sure did more than read from a teleprompter but she doesn’t live in the district and doesn’t know the needs of the people here. Her candidacy will be a minor distraction to the Meehan folks but a big distraction to her. Every story will end with a paragraph about her husband and Alycia Lane. why in God’s name would she do that to her family? If she wants to get invovled in government then she should move here, get to know the people and weigh in at a local level before taking on national problems. As for Karen’s comments, there hasn’t been any picking yet. Pat Meehan will have to obtain the endorsement of the Delaware County Republican Party and then obtain the support of Republican voters in a primary. If and only if he does that is he the Republican candidate.

  12. Guido

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Noticed I simply asked a question. I did not state my position. As one can see above with the ridiculously flawed logical arguments abortion moves voters one way or another. In a Republican primary it can be hard for a pro-choice candidate to win. Does anyone know where either of these two stand on this issue? If not then please do not respond.

  13. David Diano

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Terra Firma-
    The issue of using Federal tax dollars to fund/subsidize abortions is a ridiculous distraction. It is a legal medical procedure and an individual choice. I have no problem with my tax dollars being spent on that, instead of bombs.

    What’s next? A crazy law preventing the use of federal highways to travel to get an abortion.

    As for Dawn…
    First of all, she is not registered as Dawn Stensland. She is registered as Dawn Mente and as an independent (which is typical for people in the news field).
    She is not registered in the 7th congressional district. However, as we learned from the case of Steven Welsh, the “rules” do not require congressmen (or women) to live in their districts. The only residency requirement is living in the state.

    Sestak’s situation is more of a Rick Santorum situation. He’s got a house in Edgmont, but all indications are that his wife and daughter live in Virginia. Sestak’s wife dropped her PA voter registration after the 2006 election, and never re-registered at the Edgmont address where Joe is registered (notice I didn’t say “lives”).
    Although, Joe spends so much time working and campaigning, that his congressional or campaign offices are in some ways “more” of his home.

    I heard a funny story that during the 2006 campaign that the Sestaks were really living in Maryland or Virginia, with the Delco apartment as a prop. So, some Weldon supporters collected a ton of Sestak signs and dumped them on the lawn of Sestak’s “other” home. If anyone knows more about that story, I would love to hear it.

    My point is that Dawn is more of an actual Pennsylvania resident and Sestak’s more of a carpetbagger than Santorum.

  14. STEELBLITZ1

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Yes, well i dont know too much about this guy but if its a carpetbagger, hes going to get crushed in Western PA. Im confused about this guy, he seems kind of arrogant to me. Wow if their family doesnt even live in PA, then he shouldnt be running for senator.

    A couple whistles for dawn :)

  15. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Lana – Are you so morally confused that you can’t distinguish between innocent life (abortion)and capital punishment for the taking of a life? Let me guess, you’re a liberal Democrat? Typically confused.

  16. [...] Facebooking her pain away and awaiting whatever came next. Well, that next thing could very well be a GOP run for Congress in the 7th District. Which is just so crazy it could work: Stensland racked up a lot of points with people all over the [...]

  17. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    David Diano – Funny how all you pro-abortion advocates have already been born. Keep your left wing hands out of my pocket. You want your daughter to murder her unborn child….you pay for it!!!!

  18. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Lana – “Mother of 3 and grandmother of 4″ – I’ll bet your kids and grandkids are happy you didn’t murder them in the womb.

  19. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Guido – Both pro-life. Meehan is wishy-washy – Stensland is 100%.

  20. David Diano

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Terra Firma_
    Not only am I happy to have my tax dollars go for abortions to women that want them, but can’t afford them, I’d be VERY HAPPY to contribute if your mom is still interested in one now (when you are in your like 100th or 150th trimester).

    How exactly are tax dollars for abortions coming out of “your” pocket? I pay taxes, so it would be coming out of my pocket. Half the country is pro-choice, and abortions don’t consume half the budget, so no pro-lifer’s taxes would be spent if we take from my end first.

    BTW, how do you feel about “your” taxes being spend on capital punishment? Funny, how most of the pro-lifers are also pro-death penalty (even though it’s been well documented that innocents have often been wrongly convicted).

    As for me, I simply don’t believe that embryos and fetuses are living beings with souls. Once you are out of the womb, that’s completely different. Traditionally, the “soul” enters the body with the first breath of life, and leaves with the last.

    Besides, if you believe that God is all knowing, all seeing, all powerful and knows the future, he would know in advance which fetuses will be born or aborted or miscarried.

    Do you actually think that God would bother putting a soul in a grape-sized fetus that is going to get miscarried after 8 weeks? What would be the point?
    Similarly, why bother putting souls in 5 frozen embryos when only one will be implanted, and the others discarded?
    The point is that God has no logical reason to place a soul something that is going to get aborted or not make it to term.
    Besides, if God really had even the slightest objection to the procedure, it could never occur.

    So, either God likes abortions, doesn’t care, doesn’t bother assigning souls before birth, or doesn’t exist. Take your pick.

  21. David Diano

    Dec 9th, 2009

    BTW, if you knew FOR CERTAIN that a particular baby would grow up to be a terrorist, murder (or could go back in time to when Bin Laden was in the womb)… would you be okay with aborting something that would eventually grow into a person you would send to death row?

    Maybe, abortions are God’s way of executing potential future murders and terrorists in advance (or God doesn’t exist).

  22. Andrejs Penikis

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Doesn’t Ms. Stensland get that the men (in the smoke-filled room) have already spoken? Meehan is already the pick of the Delaware County Republican machine and outsiders trying to use an election to provide a democratic choice are not welcome! If you don’t believe me, take a look at the recent articles in the Delaware County Daily Times that mention Meehan; they always describe him as “the Republican candidate” for the seat.

    I’m sure the GOP bosses are already putting together a party of emissaries to visit with Ms. Stensland and set her straight. Just like they set Steve Welch straight when he was planning to run for “Meehan’s seat.” Those guys have a lot of experience making people offers they can’t refuse.

  23. Betty

    Dec 9th, 2009

    I would just like to know what Ms. Stensland’s positions are on the important social issues of the day–health care, abortion,immigration.What about the war? Reading the news from a teleprompter dosen’t qualify one as a deep thinker.

  24. David Diano

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Betty-
    Being a tool of the Delco GOP doesn’t qualify one as a deep thinker either.

    Dawn’s viability also comes down to money and her appeal. If she is a pro-lifer, and combines that with her looks, she may well get the “Sarah Palin” crowd strictly on their superficial, tea-bag mentality. Then Dawn can distinguish herself from there on the other issues.
    I think Dawn will have a better answer than Palin on “where she gets her news”. :-)

  25. Joe

    Dec 9th, 2009

    David,

    Your responses to Terra Firma were unwarranted and show a real lack of decency. The comment about paying for her mother’s abortion was way out of line. You ought to be ashamed.

  26. WESTPADEM6

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Joe—

    David isnt immoral, he’s ammoral, he doesnt know any better so he gets a free pass.

    An aside from my little joke, politics is a tough game, and David has the right to ask the tough questions etc. He’s answered some tough questions. If u cant take the heat… u better get out of the kitchen (or not even get in in this case).

  27. Joe

    Dec 9th, 2009

    WESTPADEM6,

    I never said he doesn’t have a right to ask tough questions, but the tone was wrong and lack of respect was obvious. Looks like you need to give him a lesson on civility. His caustic approach will turn off all but those on the hard Left – so maybe there is a good side to it!

  28. Colleen

    Dec 9th, 2009

    I don’t know any of Stensland’s political positions, but hope the R voters have a chance to make a choice, instead of waiting for the Machine to dictate a candidate.

  29. David Diano

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Joe-
    You didn’t seem to think Terra Firma crossed the line (or showed a “lack of decency”) when he/she said to me FIRST: “You want your daughter to murder her unborn child.”

    So, I responded with giving his/her Mom an option to terminate Terra Firma. It wouldn’t technically be an abortion. More like a scrapping of defective merchandise.

    Boy, some people have no sense of humor. The pro-lifers/pro-death-penalty people have no problem with terminations in the 100+ trimester.

    So, Joe, grow up, get some perspective, and take the comments in context they were offered.

    WestDem-
    Thanks for coming to my amoral defense. :-)

  30. stoshp

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Hmm, could Terra Firma really be Kevin Kelly? You and Guzardi crack me up with your ideological purity test for the party. Nobody in Delco would buy into your slanted world view so you had to get a carpetbagger from Philly like Dawn to jump into the race. How’s that reform effort in Philly going, by the way?

  31. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    dave lewis – Wrong! Military members must choose a state of residence for tax purposes. Neither Sestak nor Murphy were residents of the districts in which they ran. Go sell your idiotic blather somewhere else.

  32. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    David Diano – You are truly a stupid person. No really….you’re not smart. You know – stupid.

  33. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    David – “As for me, I simply don’t believe that embryos and fetuses are living beings with souls. Once you are out of the womb, that’s completely different. Traditionally, the “soul” enters the body with the first breath of life, and leaves with the last.”

    How about 2 seconds before the child is out of the womb? Does that child have a soul? What “tradition” are you talking about, by the way? The murdering left wing tradition? How about 4 seconds before? 6? 8? 5 minutes? 2 hours?

  34. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    David Diano – See my earlier post to Lana. I’ll break it down for your 20 watt brain in this 100 watt world:

    Babies are innocent. We should not murder innocent babies.

    Pre-meditated killers are guilty. They have WILLINGLY murdered another and have therefore WILLINGLY lost their right to live in civilized society.

    Get it? I can make it simpler for you if you want. Let me know.

  35. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    stoshp – Are you a conservative? Yes or no will suffice.

  36. Dan Hirschhorn

    Dec 9th, 2009

    Hey everyone,

    This is obviously a spirited discussion, which I like to see. Since it’s getting a bit heated, this is where I usually like to step in and encourage a little cool-down time. No one’s going to change anyone else’s mind on abortion in the space of these comments. It’s an important issue.

    But now that everyone’s made their points, let’s return to the issue at hand: What do you think of Dawn’s potential candidacy?

    Thanks all. Let’s keep the conversation going.

    Dan Hirschhorn

  37. Terra Firma

    Dec 9th, 2009

    stoshp – It’s the evil Bob Guzzardi & Keven Kelly taking over the world.

  38. David Diano

    Dec 10th, 2009

    Dan-
    If this is Dawn’s fan club, she’s in trouble.

    Terra Firma-
    Try posting under your real name. You are on “shake ground”. Get it? :-)

    “Pre-meditated killers are guilty.” Second time: How about the INNOCENT people who have been wrongly convicted and executed? A lucky few on death row managed to get DNA evidence. How about the mentally retarded? Are you okay with killing them?

    As for the soul entering the body at birth, that’s the way they did it in the movies for years. You know, with the angels waiting for just the right moment. Classic stuff.
    I was having a little fun with the right-wing’s use of “tradition” to turn it back on you a bit. You never did explain how God fits into all this, and whether the abortions are part of “God’s plan” (the catch-all when bad things happen). Here’s one I’d love to hear you explain: If the “soul” enters at conception, what happens if the embryo breaks into twins? Do they each have half the original soul?

    BTW, my bulb is so bright compared to yours, that you couldn’t see the extra zero on my 200-watts. :-)

    Back to Dawn.. if she’s as extreme as you are (which you seem to suspect) then she’s not going to win the 7th district in a General election, but she might be able to fundraise from the national ideologues and do some real damage to Meehan.

  39. [...] More than two years after she and her husband Larry Mendte became the center of a local media firestorm, former news TV news anchor Dawn Stensland is considering a GOP run for Congress in the 7th District, a move that could significantly shake up what has been a clear primary field for Pat Meehan. If she ultimately got into the race—and a decision doesn’t seem imminent—Stensland would likely benefit from a raft of early, free publicity that could make her formidable, even as the party establishment is firmly behind Meehan, the former U.S. Attorney. Stensland already has name recognition not only from her eight years as Fox29’s news anchor, but also from the scandal that embroiled her husband for months last year, as Mendte admitted having an “improper” relationship with his CBS3 co-anchor Alycia Lane, eventually got a probation sentence for hacking and leaking Lane’s e-mails—and Stensland won some plaudits in media circles for handling the whole thing with grace. [via PA2010] [...]

  40. dave lewis

    Dec 10th, 2009

    http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/homeofrecord.htm

    No where in here does it say that you have to change your residence. And nobody came up to me when I was in the Navy and said that I should have. hmmmm.

    Your just upset that the two of them won easily twice and your just looking for a reason to punt the ball.

  41. [...] loves Fincher in TN 08. Scandal-plagued ex-TV anchor considers challenging Meehan in PA [...]

  42. Baba Booey

    Dec 22nd, 2009

    I just want to see her cans.

  43. David Black

    Jan 16th, 2010

    “Strange how you care about the unborn and yet YOU murder the living.”

    Lana: you look at this as an example of moral hypocrisy. I do not.

    The unborn are innocent. Convicted criminals are not. It’s that clear cut, I’m surprised you aren’t able to make that distinction.

    Certain repeatedly convicted criminal scum deserve whatever cruel fate befalls them, even if it means death, as far as I’m concerned

  44. Lana Molly Maguire's forever

    Jan 20th, 2010

    Sorry but if she ever worked for Faux Noise she need not be a carpetbager to Delaware county. I would welcome a woman, but not her !
    Stay in Chestnut Hill, we don’t need the kind like
    Dawn S

  45. Steven

    Feb 9th, 2010

    Professor Robert McMonagle could run again. He ran against Weldon in the 1996 primary.

  46. [...] The deadline for filing petitions to get on the primary ballot passed last week, and former Fox29 news anchor Dawn Stensland stayed out of the picture, taking off the table any possible GOP primary run in the 7th Congressional District. [...]

  47. Jeremy

    May 20th, 2010

    This was a local TV anchor running as a Republican. The Republican Party and the FCC under the Bush Adminstration can care less about the state of local newscasts. Bush’s FCC more then doubled broadcasting fees for local TV stations. The broadcasting fees have caused local TV stations to make cuts in their news departments. The GOP sides with big corperate media outlets such as NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX. If the big corperate media had its way they would wipe out local newscasts. How could a person that use to work in local news side with a policical party that looks out for corperate media’s interests insted of the intrests of local media. Anyone who has worked in local media and wants to run for public office as a Republican is an insult to local news. The Republicans would rather give tax breaks for corperate media that can care less about local news then give tax breaks for local TV stations.

  48. Kate

    Jun 29th, 2010

    I am truly shocked at the back/forth communication going on here! Get a life! First of all, no one should have to defend their beliefs and accusing someone of murder when referring to abortion is simply another example of people being extremely judgmental. Maybe people should get their facts straight before making such strong statements. Aborting a fetus in the 1st trimester is killing nothing…Check out the facts. What other people do is none of anyone else’s business…period!!! Republicans are so darn hypocritical.

  49. Anonymous

    Aug 5th, 2010

    Dawn:

    I think you’d do well. Good luck. I miss you on Fox 29.

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