Little change in WGA candidates

WGA west's September election nears

WGA West president Patric Verrone is heading a Writers United slate of 11 candidates in upcoming guild elections, held against the backdrop of contract negotiations with the studios and networks.

The WGA West released the candidates list Tuesday. It will hold a candidates night Sept. 5; ballots for the election will be counted Sept. 18, six weeks before the current contract expires on Oct. 31.

The final 22 candidates for 11 offices varied only slightly from those selected by the Guild’s nominating committee last month. The only new candidate is Dennis Michael Nemec, who’s opposing incumbent and Verrone ally Elias Davis for secretary-treasurer. Board candiates Robert Adetuyi and Stephanie Liss opted not to run.

Nemec, a 30-year Guild member, told Daily Variety he’s campaigning on the issues of enforcing the rules against late payment and free rewrites.

The election’s certain to be closely followed by the companies for indications of the level of support Verrone and his allies receive.

Verrone, whose background’s in TV animation, is facing newswriter Kathy Kiernan for the presidency. She won her seat last year as part of a slate backed by Verrone.

Verrone’s running mate, David N. Weiss, also is seeking re-election as VP against Walter Halsey Davis.

Seven incumbents — all supported by Verrone — are seeking re-election for the eight board seats: Peter Lefcourt, Joan Meyerson, Robert King, Dan Wilcox, Howard A. Rodman, Phil Alden Robinson and Tom Schulman.

Incumbent Scott Frank isn’t seeking re-election, so Verrone’s endorsing Nick Kazan instead. Other board candidates are Sally Sussman Morina, Peter Murrieta, Robert Boris, Jim Cooper, Jeff Kleeman, Sonya Steele, Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal and Roberto Orci.

The elections usually draw roughly 20% participation from the 9,000 members. Two years ago, Verrone’s Writers United slate swept the WGA West election on a platform highlighted by promises of a tougher bargaining posture and pledges to beef up efforts to organize nonunion work in reality, animation and cable.

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