In a first for the Writers Guild of America West, Christopher Keyser will not face a challenge as president of the Writers Guild of America West for the next two years — with no opposition emerging via nominating petition for the upcoming September election.
It’s the first time in recent memory that a WGA West president has gone unopposed in an election. WGA West rules require that its nominating committee select opponents for all offices but the guild disclosed last month that the unidentified opponent selected for Keyser had declined to run.
A candidate still could have been nominated by petition with 50 signatures by Tuesday’s deadline but no member took the opportunity.
Past WGA West elections to head the 8,000-member guild have often been spirited affairs such as the 2009 election between John Wells and Elias Davis, which served as referendum on the effectiveness of the 2007-08 strike with Wells winning by a narrow margin over the more assertive Davis.
Keyser, best known as the “Party of Five” showrunner, won the 2011 contest against former WGA president Patric Verrone by offering a low-key contrast with Verrone’s confrontational style, highlighted by the high drama of the strike which Verrone led.
The WGA West will hold its candidates night town-hall forum on Sept. 3 at the Century Plaza. Voting concludes Sept. 16 with ballots counted the next day.
No other new candidates have emerged for the WGA West election. Incumbent VP Howard Rodman will run against Timothy J. Lea and incumbent secretary-treasurer Carl Gottlieb will face Dan Wilcox.
Five incumbents are seeking to be re-elected to the board — Thania St. John, Carleton Eastlake, Billy Ray, Alfredo Barrios, Jr., and “Man of Steel” screenwriter David Goyer. Besides Verrone, the other challengers for the board are Andrew Goldberg, Cynthia Riddle, Ari B. Rubin, Nancy Miller, Jonathan Fernandez, Henry Alonso Myers, Flint Dille, Lee Aronsohn, David Maples and Karen Harris.
In the WGA East, which doesn’t require challengers for offices, president Michael Winship is running unopposed.