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. http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/peckinpaugh-running-for-congress/ 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: http://www.wfsb.com/video/23559018/index.html