SAG president gets competition

Three candidates to challenge Rosenberg

Screen Actors Guild prexy Alan Rosenberg has drawn a trio of challengers in his bid for a second two-year term — national board member Seymour Cassel, disabled activist Charley De La Pena and background actor Barry Simmonds.

SAG announced Wednesday that it will mail out ballots Aug. 21, and they’ll be tabulated Sept. 20.

Connie Stevens, who was Rosenberg’s running mate two years ago, is unopposed for secretary-treasurer. SAG also announced 50 candidates for 11 national board seats repping Hollywood, including newcomer Nancy Sinatra, and another 20 for five seats repping New York, notably former SAG president Richard Masur.

With SAG’s film-TV contract expiring next June and fears of a possible strike triggering a ramp-up of production, the SAG contests will be closely watched. But it appears the election won’t shift control of the 71-seat boardroom away from the Membership First faction, which came into power in the 2005 elections.

Hollywood-based Membership First has advocated a more assertive stance toward contract negotiations. Rosenberg, who topped Robert Conrad and Morgan Fairchild in 2005 as part of Membership First, is expected to receive the group’s endorsement, although his relationship with the group has been frayed during his tenure due to strategic disagreements.

Cassel has starred in a long list of indie films and was elected to the national board as part of Membership First. De La Pena’s been active on the guild’s disabled committee and has run for the board six times and Simmonds plans to campaign for more SAG slots for extras.

Membership First incumbents seeking re-election include Jane Austin, Bonnie Bartlett, Frances Fisher, Ron Harper, Valerie Harper, Kent McCord, Esai Morales and France Nuyen; Sinatra’s also part of its slate, as is Scott Wilson, who recently received the Ralph Morgan Award for service.

Membership First members holding alternate seats who are seeking election include Jeff Austin, Steven Barr, Terrence Beasor, Michael Bell, Brett Cullen, Anthony DeSantis, Brian Hamilton, Sumi Haru, David Jolliffe, Kurt Lott, Russell McConnell, Peggy Miley, Paul Napier, F.J. O’Neil, Justin Shenkarow, David Sobolov, Yale Summers, Angela Watson and Jenny Worman.

Other Hollywood candidates include Dean Acevedo, Peter Antico, Warren Berlinger, Eugene Boggs, Mark Carlton, Nancy Daly, Joe d’Angerio, Carole Elliott, Lauri Hendler, Peaches Johnson, Mobin Khan, Ted Lang, William Mapother, Miliza Milo, Erik Passoja, Masami Sato, Oliver Thees, Gary D. Watts and DeWayne Williams.

In New York, board member Sam Freed is seeking the local presidency against Eric-Anders Nilsson and James Vassanelli. New York incumbents seeking re-election include Dave Bachman, Maureen Donnelly, Nancy Giles, Mike Hodge, Sue-Anne Morrow and Kevin Scullin. Alternate members seeking election include Manny Alfaro, Ralph Byers, Ron McClary and Joe Narcisco.

Masur served two terms as SAG prexy between 1995 and 1999. He’s among the other New York candidates, including Mark Baron, Michael Ferreira, Richard Kelly, Doug Lory, Jody Myers, Erik Anders Nilsson, Andrew Rogers and James Vassanelli.

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