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Stensland still might run as an independent

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

--Dan Hirschhorn

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comments [16] | post a comment

  1. […] Former Philly TV Anchor Dawn Stensland may still run for Congress as independent… […]

  2. David Diano

    Mar 17th, 2010

    I think it’s a disgrace that Meehan needs only 1,000 signatures out of over 200,000 registered Republicans.
    But Dawn would need 4,200 signatures when there are less than 60,000 voters in the districts that are not Dem or Rep.
    Can any Dems and Reps sign her petitions?

    The law needs to be changed to stop disenfranchising third party candidates.


    Mar 17th, 2010

    dawn may collect signatures from any regisitered voter
    she can get dems, gopers, greens, indepedents etc to sign
    they are due in August
    I do agree with you that the election laws of PA need a drastic overhaul

  4. P. O'Neill

    Mar 17th, 2010

    I am curious as to why Stensland would want to run in the 7th anyway. Why not run as a Republican or Independent in the district where she actually lives? She has no connection to Delaware County. She has never lived here. She has not been active in any civic or community organizations in Delco. I know her husband lived in Delco as a child but he left decades ago and decided not to come back to Delco when his professional career brought him back to the area. Moreover, she has never said WHY she wants to run for Congress and WHY it is in the 7th District. Until she does so, we have to assume that this whole story is exactly what it seems on the surface – nothing but a revenge scenario because Pat Meehan prosecuted her husband.

  5. HateSestak

    Mar 17th, 2010

    Stensland should confer with her former Fox29 colleague Jeff Cole. That would indeed be an interesting conversation…

  6. J. Hughes

    Mar 17th, 2010

    There are several underlying themes in this issue. Her husband was interested in running for the seat back in 2006 if Weldon were to have retired which is not much of a leap since he is from the district. However with his convition a future run was removed from the table. With Dawn the issue gets greyer. She has been involved with much of the underlying conservative movement for many years which would explain a latent interest in running for congress. However the fact that Meehan was the one who not only prosecuted her husband, but also pulled a pre-approved deal out from under Larry Mendte at the last minute has to cast some doubts as to whether Dawn is looking to play spoiler to a certain degree.

  7. David Diano

    Mar 17th, 2010

    She’s still registered (as of Jan 25th voter file) in Philly and PA-2.

    Hey, if she can damage Meehan, that’s a good thing.

    Can Dems or Republicans that already signed Primary petitions for Lentz, Conner, Touey, or Meehan still sign for Dawn for the General election?
    Can they circulate petitions?

    Now, I am sure that the signers and circulators would need to be registered in the 7th, even if Dawn isn’t.

  8. Barry H.

    Mar 17th, 2010

    Is it true you are challenging the unendorsed candidates in Bucks County, Larry?

    I never saw you as a party guy…

  9. Seventh

    Mar 17th, 2010

    It would be wonderful to have a third Conservative option in the seventh district. I hope Dawn runs.

    As for her not living in the District, The Daily News reported that she is looking for a house in Delaware County. She has sad she wants to move their for the school district.

    Why the Seventh? Because its an open seat and she probably A) know that Meehan is a RINO and B) that he is not an honorable man.

    I do think time is running out. But if she runs it would be exciting. She would get 7-10 percent of the vote just because she is a woman. Another 7-10 if she is a true pro-life conservative. She probably gets another 5 or 6 percent on the celebrity. Entering the race with over 20 percent of the vote makes it interesting.

    Has there been any polling on her as a third party candidate?

  10. GO DAWN GO !

    Mar 17th, 2010

    Dawn , hope you run I wish you would have run in the Primary . You are truly one of the Nicest people I have ever met in my life . I would love to have you represent me

  11. Michael Morrill

    Mar 18th, 2010

    If she’s registered as a Republican she can’t run as an independent in PA. She would have had to change her registration by November. If she was considering running as a Republican in the primary, that means she is registered R, prohibiting her from running as an independent or third party candidate.

  12. David Diano

    Mar 18th, 2010

    She is registered as an Independent.

  13. Brett

    Mar 18th, 2010

    The Problem here is this proposed campaign is all about ego, Dawn’s and Larry’s both. Stick to newcasting. I do not see her winning if she runs, this seems to be media peoples latest penchant, running for congress, but their careers don’t me they would make good public servants.

  14. BB

    Mar 18th, 2010

    This former teleprompter reader has simply ZERO credibility. Please go away and stay out of politics.

  15. I'm a White Guy for Williams

    Mar 18th, 2010

    BB You are a J A C K A S S

  16. Brett

    Mar 18th, 2010

    Mule Train, forward, yee ha!

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