Broadcasters Are on the Ballot


Before swiping the Democratic nomination from Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Ned Lamont owned a cable company, Lamont Digital Systems. But he isn’t the only candidate with a TV past on the ballot this week.

No fewer than six broadcast vets are looking to get to Washington—or stay there. Here’s a quick primer on four of them:

Republican John Raese, chairman of West Virginia Radio Corp., which owns 15 radio stations and a 56-station network, is running a quixotic campaign to unseat Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), currently the longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate—and almost certain to remain so.

Italo Zanzi, VP, international broadcast sales and Latin American/U.S. Hispanic marketing for Major League Baseball, is an attractive Republican novice but a longshot to win in New York’s 1st district.

After three terms, Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.)—founder of Northern Ag Network, which serves 31 radio and TV stations in Montana and Wyoming—hangs in the balance, trailing slightly in the polls.

But victory is at hand for former radio talk-show host Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who is a contender for leadership in the House (and has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate).

That’s good news for the cause of free speech: Pence is pushing a federal shield law to protect journalists from being forced to burn confidential sources.