Stensland still might run as an independent
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.
But that doesn’t mean she’s out of the picture completely.
Stensland is more interested in serving in Congress than ever, and is seriously considering a run as an independent, according to a person familiar with her plans. But running as an independent is no small feat in Pennsylvania, and the window during which she could feasibly pull the trigger is closing fast. Though she legally needs about 4,200 signatures to get on the ballot as an independent, it’s likely that well over 10,000 would be required to avoid a challenge from former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan, the likely Republican nominee whose prospects could be threatened by having a right-of-center independent in the race.
It remains to be seen whether Stensland—who would surely bring a new level of media excitement to the race—will make a go of it. With two kids at home and her husband, former CBS3 anchor Larry Mendte, increasingly traveling to New York to do TV commentaries, there are logistical issues at play. The two don’t actually live in the Delaware County district, and moving there might seem less appealing if the family were spread between New York and Washington.
“Her mindset now is that she would like to run, but the reality is that it’s very difficult,” the person familiar with her plans said.
Stensland has certainly been keeping herself visible inside the conservative movement she would have to tap. She helped moderate a Tea Party forum in Philadelphia earlier this year, and is set to moderate a health care forum in Bucks County on Friday. And while the telegenic former anchor would seemingly have little problem getting her name in the mix, ramping up a fundraising operation at such a late date would be a challenge.
As the person familiar with her plans acknowledged, “it looks like time is running out.”
March 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm