Six candidates are vying for two seats on the Haines Borough Assembly in the Oct. 1 municipal election. The third highest vote getter will be appointed to a third vacancy, created by the resignation of assembly member Will Prisciandaro last month.

Residents may only vote for two assembly candidates on the ballot. Voting for a third will invalidate their ballot.

Here’s a brief background on who each candidate is, what experiences they have, and why they’re running.

Sean Gaffney has co-owned Alaska Mountain Guides in Haines for 28 years. He serves as vice president of the Chamber of Commerce and Haines Economic Development Cooperation, and holds a seat on tourism advisory board, Chilkat Bald Eagle Advisory Council and remotely for the Great Alaska Council for the Boy Scouts of America. “Owning a business and serving on boards has given me a financial and legal background, a background in management, and experience working with diverse groups of people successfully,” Gaffney said. “I regularly work with challenging decision-making processes, and I have the skills and experience to succeed with them.”

Sally McGuire, Haines resident since 1985, is a gardener who has raised her four children in the Chilkat Valley. She has previously served as a member of the Chilkoot River Corrider working group that analyzed problems and sought solutions in the valley. McGuire’s campaign highlights conservation, and protecting the valley’s watersheds against potential threats from industrial mining. “I’m running because I want Haines to stay as it is, a small town with a well-diversified economy,” McGuire said. McGuire is currently visiting her mother in Maine, and was not able to participate in community forums, though her answers will be broadcast alongside others during Friday’s final forum.

Paul Rogers, a retiree who moved to Haines from Michigan with his wife in 2014, has 32 years of experience in public safety. He was a police officer for 16 years and a 911 director for a countywide dispatch operation for 15 years. In Haines, he serves as a member of the Public Safety Commission, and ran for a seat on the assembly last year but lost by two votes to Sean Maidy. Rogers is campaigning on being a “voice of reason” on the assembly, making decisions based on facts and code rather than emotions, and avoiding the appearance of having a special interest. “We need to have an open and transparent process that invites public input from all aspects of the community,” Rogers said.

Zephyr Sincerny is a stay-at-home father to his seven-month-old daughter. He has previously worked as a commercial fisherman, guide, substitute teacher and education and cultural coordinator at the Haines Borough Public Library. Sincerny said he believes in protecting local resources from large-scale extraction, and is campaigning on being a voice for a healthy Chilkat River watershed. “The arrival of my daughter has brought great clarity to how important it is to me that she and all of us continue to have a place to live with clean water, an intact ecosystem that supports a healthy salmon run, infrastructure that supports our economy and schools and social services that support our community,” he said.

Gabe Thomas is a sixth-generation Haines resident who grew up in Klukwan. He worked as a commercial fisherman for two decades before leaving Alaska to work construction in Washington state. Thomas returned to raise his two children, and now works for Colaska as part of the demolition crew on the highway project. Thomas said he was inspired to run to represent the working class, and said he believes Haines needs to be less hostile to industry that could grow its local economy. “My friends and family feel that there’s a lack of a voice for this working class and it felt like it was my time,” he said. “I feel like I can bring a lot of balance. I think we can do economics and we can do environment and everything can be pretty much in the middle.”