No politics for Dawn ... for now

If Dawn Stensland wants to run for Congress in Delaware County, she'll have to do it as a third-party or independent candidate.

The former Fox 29 anchor didn't file nominating petitions in Harrisburg by yesterday's deadline to get on the Republican primary ballot. But Stensland, wife of former CBS 3 anchor Larry Mendte, isn't ruling out running in November, according to sources close to the former Fox anchor.

Stensland, 45, who lives in Chestnut Hill, in U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's district, would be considered a long shot for the open seat in the 7th District, which covers most of Delaware County and parts of Montgomery and Chester counties.

But she could cause problems for the district's Republican candidate, Upper Darby's Patrick Meehan, if she runs as a conservative and snags some of his votes.

Meehan, the former U.S. attorney who approved the investigation of Mendte that led to his felony conviction for hacking into a colleague's e-mail, is expected to face Democratic state Rep. Bryan Lentz in the 7th District race.

It could be close, so even rumors of a Stensland candidacy, which first surfaced in December, have made big waves in suburban political circles.

Mendte is now a full-time employee at WPIX-TV, a New York television station, and is on five nights a week.

The couple have retained a real-estate agent, Dan Logan, to help them find a house in Delaware County, sources close to Stensland said.

To get on the November ballot, Stensland would have to gather 4,200 signatures and file them by Aug. 2.