My life and family

Peckinpaugh: “I’m a Reagan moderate”

Janet Peckinpaugh, former television news anchor turned politician has sat down for her first  extended interview since throwing her hat in the ring for the 2nd Congressional district.    During a taping of “Face the State,” the Essex Republican talked about why she is running and when she  made the decision to plunge into politics.

Peckinpaugh wouldn’t identify them, but told me “higher-ups” in the state Republican party approached her to run, saying the other candidates Matt Daly and Daria Novak weren’t gaining traction in their quest to unseat Democrat Joe Courtney.    

Peckinpaugh told me right now she has enough committed delegates to qualify for a primary.

We also talked about why she believes it is time for Courtney to go,  why a news anchor is qualified to be a U.S. Representative, and the commercials she did for Lend America, a failed mortgage company.   The latter is something Democrats may use against her. 

I asked Peckinpaugh if she had a political role model.  She does:  Ronald Reagan, and she explained why.  “Are you a Reagan conservative?”  I asked.  “A Reagan moderate,”  Peckinpaugh replied.

As I blogged last week, this was an unusual interview for me. Janet and I worked as co-anchors in 1994, and this is the first time I’ve had a former colleague run for office, and then had to interview this person.


I consulted my news director Dana Neves and Quinnipiac University journalism professor Rich Hanley about to handle it.   Dana said just be fair, and Professor Hanley advised to me to mention at the  beginning of the broadcast that Janet and I worked together and then move on.

I believe we treated Janet like we have other congressional candidates who have been on.    Both interviews with Novak and Daly are on our website. 

You can watch the interview with Janet Peckinpaugh right here:

13 replies »

  1. Janet is whatever the situation calls for. “Reagan moderate,” fake newscaster or whatever. I’ll be interested to hear her response to your Lend America question.

    I don’t think she can just write it off as ignorance regarding the doings of Lend America. The commercials themselves were fundamentally deceptive. Moreover, anyone with half a brain would have recognized that “no credit check required” home loans were not the most super idea. I can recall seeing the commercials at the time and, knowing nothing about Lend America, thinking that they were pretty sleezy.

    Republicans in the 2nd District will need to think seriously about how easy it will be for Joe Courtney to mashup the fake newscasts into a pretty stinging negative campaign ad….


  2. Nice to see Peckinpaugh is listening to the ‘higher-ups’ in the party….we already have 5 congressmen listening to the higher up in their party.

    Daria Novak has gained traction in the 2nd district….she has over 400 volunteers assisting with her campaign…the people have spoken and they support the true conservative ~ NOVAK ~


  3. A “Reagan moderate”? Why does the phrase “mutually exclusive” come to mind?

    War is peace, etc.



  4. Why would any responsible citizen voter not want to have the opportunity for more choices of candidates for public office?

    Having options, getting more individuals involved in public service, never mind getting non career politicians who actually may be able to represent the peoples interests is certainly the plan the framers had in mind.

    Paul Barry


  5. Give me a break. She can’t even remember who she voted for in the last Congressional election. Or, did she vote? She has no idea about current legislation in Washington and when asked to name 3 principles of the Republican Party, she couldn’t do it. We don’t want “higher ups” deciding for the people. We want to make our own choices. She is being used by the Republican Party. I feel sorry for her.

    Daria Novak is a principled candidate with a strong and large organization, has been out there campaigning full-time for 14 months, has a big headquarters opened across from MYstic Aquarium, and the extensive real world experience needed to get the job done. She was a Reagan delegate to the Republican National Convention…. not a radical just a principled conservative. I don’t want the Party to dress up a Democrat like Janet and try to sell her to us as faux Reagan. If I want someone to report on what goes on in DC I will turn on Fox or CNN. I want someone who can impact Washington and that’s Daria Novak!


  6. How can Novak make any more of a claim to this position than Peckinpaugh? Novak is being sued for non-payment of legal bills, and has been taken to court several times in the past five years. Look it up on the state judicial deparment website. She has no money, her 400 volunteers were mysteriously absent at the opening of her Mystic “headquarters” also called Starbucks, last week, and when she goes to speaking events she goes alone. Peckinpaugh is clueless and Novak is a figment of her own imagination.


    • Here is a link to the Grand Opening of Daria Novak’s HQ last week…doesn’t look like it is in Starbuck’s to me…

      Let’s remember who We the People are seeking to defeat here…our eye is on Joe Courtney. Where are you focused?


    • Typical blathering. I noted above that Novak has nowhere near the 400 volunteers she claims to have, especially at a big event like a headquarters opening and you try to divert attention to whether her headquarters is in or next to the Starbucks. But we won’t talk about the lawsuit pending against her, the delegates who aren’t supporting her or the money that is not filling her campaign coffers, will we now? Peckinpaugh is clueless and Novak is a figment of her own imagination.


  7. Janet Peckinpaugh is a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. She made her announcement in Hartford and is holding a Meet and Greet today in Windsor. Neither Hartford, nor Windsor are in the 2nd Congressional District which leads me to wonder if she even knows what towns she would be representing.

    We don’t need a Janet come lately who is beholden to “higher ups” representing the people. We already have that in Courtney.

    Daria has been out meeting and talking to people for over a year. She is experienced in the ways of Washington and has not been changed by it. She knows and understands the constraints placed on the Federal Government by the Constitution, something that most elected officials soon forget.

    If you want someone who will truly represent you, volunteer and donate to Daria Novak’s campaign.


  8. Per Janet Peckinpaugh, no traction by the other candidates. WHAT?

    Ms. Peckinpaugh, let me introduce you to Eastern CT, 2nd District people. Once you get out there a bit, you’ll see that people know the issues and know DARIA NOVAK.

    Daria has support at the grassroots level, RTC’s and talk radio listeners. Did you get to hear her on Lee Elci’s show or Dan Lavallo’s or, most recently, Jim Vicevich’s show? She’s dynamite. People love Daria because of her message AND her knowledge AND her experience. Daria Novak, is a go-getter!

    Daria Novak has ENERGIZED Eastern CT. She’s true RED, WHITE, and BLUE. She loves her country and understands the need to get back to the very foundations that our founding fathers worked so tirelessly to attain for our nation….a republic.

    Visit her web site. Check out her credentials. Listen to her as she appeared on Jim Vicevich’s talk radio show last week by going to her web site, clicking on ‘Events’ and then at the bottom, ‘Media Events’. Contribute to her campaign, whether you’re from Eastern CT, or the other side of the river! Support a truly conservative candidate, Daria at


  9. Too late Janet, Daria Novak is getting my vote!

    Daria is an actual Reagan Republican. She is a principled leader in whom the people of the 2nd district can put their trust to truly represent them!

    She looks you right in the eye when she speaks to you, a sign of an honest person. She has an extensive resume that is not matched by any of the other candidates. The 2nd district will be proud to call her their Congresswoman come November !


  10. Did anyone listen to Peckinpaugh try to answer questions on Face the State? How embarrassing for her and the Republican Party. Maybe Daria Novak ought to send Janet one of the copies of the Constitution she hands out from her campaign! The Republicans have a great candidate in Daria Novak. She has held a Top Secret clearance, taught our children at UConn and ECSU for years, and started her own company. When she was younger she was a vol. firefighter and EMT. Yet a week before the convention the party machine decides to go after her because she is principled and won’t give in to them. Come on… that makes me want to vote for Novak even more. She’ll be able to stand strong against those in Washington who need to be taught a lesson. Daria Novak is EXACTLY what CT needs.


  11. William Bonney…..get to a dentist. You seem to be suffering from a constant tooth ache. Sheesh……chill out.

    You have no idea about the candidates. Your disparaging remarks are based on a dislike for women, nothing else. I’ve seen your kind before. Seek out some therapy or get yourself to se Dr. Strangelove!


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