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Ben Kalasho, Santee Businessman, Applies for Vacant El Cajon Council Seat

Photo Credit: Ben Kalasho for City Council
Photo Credit: Ben Kalasho for City Council

The vacancy on the El Cajon City Council drew 27 applicants, who will be interviewed beginning next week, including a one-time Santee City Council candidate, El Cajon officials announced Thursday.

Ben Kalasho, owner of Go Car Wash and the Go Gas Station in Santee, is one of the people seeking to finish the term of Bill Wells, who was promoted to mayor following the resignation of Mark Lewis. The term runs to November 2016.

Kalasho ran a candidacy for Santee City Council in 2010 and ran for El Cajon council in 2012, and described himself as a Chaldean-American.

A San Diego Reader article about Kalasho considering a run for El Cajon mayor in 2014 gives more insight about the candidate.

The interviews by City Council members of the City Council will get underway at Tuesday's meeting at 7 p.m., according to El Cajon officials.

The applicants on a list provided by the city include Intsar Bales, Theresa Benintende-Wister, Rodney Bohling, Cornelius Bowser, Vickie Butcher, Humbert Cabrera, Fisnik Nick Demaj and Paul Dosik.

Others to apply were Mike Foldenauer, Michael Griffiths, Stephanie Harper, Theodore Kagan, John "Stan" Landess, James Lewis, Kimberley Lobera and Johnny Minarick.

The rest of the field is made up of Darris Mroz, Melinda Neill, Stephen Nissou, Emily "Lily" Schworm, Christopher Shamoon, Rodgers Smith, Anthony Sottile, Katherine Spacone, Duane Swainston and Wendie Wigginton.

The deadline to apply was Wednesday.

City officials said it might take a couple of meetings to appoint someone because of the large number of applicants.

Lewis resigned in October, citing health reasons. He had come under fire for making comments viewed as offensive by the East County city's large Chaldean population.

-City News Service contributed to this post

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