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Tosi still waiting for decision on complaint, but says campaign is moving forward

Nathaniel Herz
Bob Hallinen

Anchorage Assembly candidate Mao Tosi said he's forging ahead with his race after a meeting with state regulators Tuesday that ended without a resolution to a four-week-old set of accusations against his campaign.

Tosi spent 20 minutes on the phone with members of the Alaska Public Offices Commission, which has up to 10 days to approve, reject, or modify a staff recommendation of a $350 fine for five violations of disclosure and campaign finance rules.

That was less than the maximum penalty of $1,760 that APOC could have issued, based on Tosi's quick action to fix his violations, and his inexperience. The Assembly race is Tosi's first campaign.

"We believe that Mr. Tosi did, in fact, work quickly to try and correct all of the deficiencies on this," Jerry Anderson, APOC's assistant director, said at the meeting.

At the meeting, Tosi asked if the commission would consider waiving the fine entirely, but that idea was quickly rejected.

In an interview Thursday at his office at the Northway Mall, which he manages, Tosi said he expected the fine to stay at $350.

"I think it's done," he said. "I don't think they'll add any more."

Tosi said he's now focused on ramping up his campaign, which trails his opponents when it comes to cash, and appears to lack experienced staff.

In his latest campaign finance report, Tosi said he had raised a total of $1,800, compared to $53,000 and $72,000 for opponents Pete Petersen and Adam Trombley, respectively.

"I'm so far behind them," Tosi said. "It's definitely a tight, tight budget."

Tosi said he's struggled to find a campaign manager, and declined to reveal the names of any of the people who are working with him on the campaign. The best way to get a sense of his supporters, he said, was to look at his Facebook page.

Tosi is planning a rally next weekend, and has five large signs that are awaiting permits before they can be erected, he said.

Asked if he would consider running again if this year's campaign didn't work out, Tosi responded with a firm yes. But he said he's still serious about the race he's in now.

"I still feel pretty confident in getting the votes needed," he said.

Reach Nathaniel Herz at or 257-4311.