August 15, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 32

Benassi launches write-in campaign

Resident Mario Benassi on Monday filed notice of intent with the Haines Borough to run as a write-in candidate for a seat on the assembly.

A seven-year resident, Benassi, 50, is a freelance cinematographer and director of photography. He lives at Mosquito Lake.

Planning commission member Rob Miller and businessman George Campbell are official candidates for the two seats that will be vacated by assembly members Norm Smith and Steve Vick.

In an interview last week, Benassi said he decided to run because he was unfamiliar with Campbell and Miller. He said he didn’t file before the borough’s July 26 filing deadline because he was busy and he wanted to see what candidates came forward.

Benassi said he was already involved in some borough issues, but declined to go into details. “I’m politicking all the time on issues I’m passionate about. On the assembly at least I’ll get compensated for the time I put in.”

“I come from a very different background from most people. I feel like I bridge all the different cliques in this community. I feel like I’m a catalyst for cross-communication between all the different factions. At least I’ve been working toward that,” Benassi said.

Votes for write-in candidates who file with the borough within five days of the October 1 municipal election will be tallied by election officials, borough clerk Julie Cozzi said this week.