United Screen Actors Nationwide announces slate

The United Screen Actors Nationwide — which has dominated the seats repping New York in recent years — has announced a slate of 14 candidates for the Screen Actors Guild’s national board.

The slate includes New York division president Mike Hodge and incumbents Maureen Donnelly, Nancy Giles, Richard Masur and Sue-Anne Morrow. Masur served two terms as SAG prez between 1995 and 1999.

Other USAN candidates are Manny Alfaro, Dave Bachman, Marc Baron, Justin Barrett, Andrew Dolan, Joe Narciso, Jay Potter, John Rothman and Kevin Scullin.

New York reps have about 25% of the seats on the 71-member national board. Results of the voting will be announced Sept. 23.

USAN’s been allied with the moderate wing of the national board, which has come to dominate during the past two years with the emergence of the Unite for Strength faction in Hollywood as its taken over for the hardline Membership First faction.

Both USAN and Unite for Strength have been strong supporters of merging SAG with the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists. SAG president Ken Howard’s focused much of his efforts toward laying the groundwork for the two unions to combine.

“USAN has always stood up for the need to have tough negotiations, strong contracts and aggressive enforcement,” Hodge said. “We have also believed that the best way to ensure that strength is to have one union representing everyone who works in front of a camera or a microphone. USAN believes the time has come to take decisive action to achieve that goal.”

SAG had not yet released the full candidates list Wednesday.

In Hollywood, Unite for Strength unveiled its ticket of 35 candidates as the self-styled moderates aim to strengthen their hold on the SAG national board. Jeff Garlin and Ron Perlman are the most prominent entries among its Hollywood division candidates for its slate, which includes Gabrielle Carteris, Clark Gregg, Donal Logue, Michael O’Keefe, Stacey Travis and Ned Vaughn.

Membership First’s slate of 29 candidates includes Bernie Casey, Clint Howard, Amy Madigan and former president Alan Rosenberg along with 11 incumbents — Jane Austen, Jeff Austin, Joe d’Angerio, Frances Fisher, Valerie Harper, Sumi Haru, William Mapother, Esai Morales, Nancy Sinatra, Angela Watson and Jenny Worman.

Wednesday’s announcement portends another potentially bruising campaign as Unite for Strength stressed its ongoing commitment to a SAG merger with the AFTRA. The self-styled progressive of the Membership First faction — which lost its board majority two years ago — has generally opposed merging the performer unions, saying SAG would lose its identity and pointing to complications with combining the health and pension plans.

About a third of the 71 seats on the SAG board are up for re-election. SAG won’t announce the official candidates’ list until later this week due to the need to check candidate eligibility.

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