Public Office: None
Most Recent Position: Owner, Peckinpaugh Media Group
Background: Peckinpaugh is a first-time candidate and though she was not endorsed by her party, she sailed to a primary win in a three-way race, largely on her name recognition as a popular former TV news anchor with 30 years in broadcasting. National Republicans hope that recognition will help them win back the seat in this largely independent-minded district.
Peckinpaugh is presenting herself as a candidate concerned with the economy: “A jobless economic recovery with runaway spending and record debt is unacceptable,” she says on her website.
As a small business owner – she started a media consulting company in 2006 after she left television – she advocates the elimination of regulations that are costly to business. She advocates freezing discretionary spending at last year’s levels and blocking all federal tax increases until unemployment drops to five percent. She said she would have opposed the $700 billion bank bailout.
“Where do you stop?” she said. “I just think we are getting ourselves into a hole.”
Among other Congressional actions, Peckinpaugh said she would have opposed health care reform. “From what I can see it’s not fair to the majority of Americans,” she says. “Once we drill down into it there are loopholes that could be detrimental to a large portion of Americans.”
She believes neither the current immigration policies, nor the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should be changed.
Peckinpaugh points to her resilience in the face of personal tragedy. She was crippled in a car accident when she was 29, but learned to walk again despite doctors’ beliefs she would not.
Peckinpaugh has been an anchor at all three major network affiliates in Connecticut. She sued WFSB for age-discrimination, settling the case after a trial at which she testified that she was sexually harassed by a co-anchor.
But she also uses her three decades as a journalist as a rationale for why she decided to run: “I want to send someone to Washington who is like a journalist, who can go to Washington and who can listen to what the people want,” she said when announcing her candidacy.
Education: B.S., Indiana University
Personal: Peckinpaugh, 59, is a single mother with one grown son. She lives in Essex.