On the Campaign Trail
Philadelphia InquirerMay 9, 2006 -- Stamina - and hope - for this candidate
Tom Lingenfelter has never been one to let an election loss - or two, or three - deter him in his quest to right what he feels are the wrongs of the political system.
So the Doylestown resident is throwing his hat in the ring again, this time as the PACleanSweep candidate for lieutenant governor. He was a founding board member of the anti-incumbent group started by Russ Diamond, who is running for governor. The pair, running as independents, have to collect just more than 67,000 signatures to secure a spot on the November ballot.
Lingenfelter, 67, had been running as a Democrat in the state Senate primary when he got the call from Diamond.
"The only real, real way to fix anything is to run for office," he said. "I run because I have to. It's my duty."
And run he has: As a Democrat, he tried for Bucks County controller last year and ran the party's 2004 congressional primary.
As a Republican, he was unendorsed in the 2003 county commissioner race, and three times sought that party's nomination for the Eighth District congressional seat. He ran for U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter's seat in 1998. He attempted to run for lieutenant governor in 1994, then sued after his name was thrown off the ballot over a petition challenge. In the win column, he scored a spot as Republican state committeeman in 1996. At least one of his showings surprised party powers: he won 40 percent of the vote in the 1996 primary against former U.S. Rep. Jim Greenwood.
Lingenfelter said he doesn't see the repeated party switching as a detriment.
"I switch because I'm trying to find a way in the political system where they appreciate somebody who plays by the rules. And I can't find that."
- Dana Reddingtonlink