NY president facing Carteris for powerful post

SAG-AFTRA will see a spirited contest between Hollywood and New York at next week’s convention for the powerful executive VP post with New York Local president Mike Hodge taking on Los Angeles First National VP Gabrielle Carteris.

Hodge announced his candidacy Friday night, five days after Carteris had thrown her hat in the ring. Both have espoused moderation and both were strong backers of last year’s merger.

“We set a strong foundation through merger and now it’s time for SAG-AFTRA to fulfill its potential and set the standard for labor representation across the entertainment and media industries,” Hodge said in a statement. “I would be honored to provide an east coast complement to our union’s national leadership.”

SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard, who won election handily last month over Esai Morales, endorsed Hodge.

“Mike Hodge is someone I’ve counted on for strong, steady leadership from the very start of my union service, and he has never failed to deliver,” said Howard in a statement. “I’m tremendously impressed with the way he’s handled things in New York, and it’s important that our national union have leadership that reflects our national footprint.”

Hodge also received backing from LA Local president Clyde Kusatsu and former exec VP Ned Vaughn, who is running for the California Assembly.

Hodge narrowly retained the New York presidency of SAG-AFTRA last month, topping outgoing SAG-AFTRA co-president Roberta Reardon by 118 votes out of more than 6,000 following an active campaign.

Carteris has received endorsements from Reardon and SAG-AFTRA secretary-treasurer Amy Aquino.

Last month’s elections and the convention are the first step toward a “permanent governance structure” with 70 board seats allotted for the 22 locals with Los Angeles having 28 seats and New York with 16. A total of 10 national officers will also serve on the SAG-AFTRA national board bringing its total size to 80.

SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 members.

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