Rosenberg draws trio of election rivals

Candidates' nominating petitions due July 19

Screen Actors Guild president Alan Rosenberg has drawn a trio of possible challengers in his bid for a second two-year term — current national board member Seymour Cassel, former board member Mark Carlton and disabled activist Charley De La Pena.

Candidates will have until July 19 to submit nominating petitions for the September election. But early campaigning began last month when a variety of candidates were circulating petitions.

Rosenberg, who topped Robert Conrad and Morgan Fairchild for the post two years ago, decided earlier this year he would seek re-election. He was elected as part of a near-sweep of the Hollywood board seats by Membership First, which has advocated a more assertive stance toward contract negotiations.

Rosenberg’s relationship with the faction has been strained during his term, partly due to his efforts to make political alliances with elected reps in New York and the regional branches, but it would be a surprise if he ran without a Membership First endorsement. During his tenure, he’s spearheaded negotiations on the cable and animation contracts and an extension of the commercials contract along with the hiring of SAG exec director Doug Allen.

Cassel’s best known for starring in a wide variety of indie films (“The Wendell Baker Story,” “Hollywood Dreams”) and is in his second term on the national board. He’s also a long-time member of Membership First, as is Carlton, who’s been active on the new technologies committee.

De La Pena’s been active on the guild’s disabled committee and has run for the board six times. He’s planning to campaign on a platform of seeking increased employer contributions to put the brakes on rising healthcare costs for members.

“I probably don’t have much of a chance, but I never give up,” De La Pena said.

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