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Ned Vaughn Resigns as SAG-AFTRA Exec VP to Run for Assembly

Actor seeks Republican nomination for Assembly seat

Ned Vaughn, a key architect of the SAG-AFTRA merger, has resigned as the union’s exec VP and will seek a California State Assembly seat as a Republican.

Vaughn, whose acting credits date back to “China Beach” and “The Hunt for Red October,” was first elected to SAG’s Hollywood Division Board in 2008 and became SAG 1st National VP in 2010. He was a leader of the moderate Unite for Strength faction — headed by SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard — that has come to dominate the board room during the past four years via a strategy of stressing the need for merger.

Members of SAG and AFTRA voted overwhelmingly to merge the unions in March, 2012. In addition to Howard and AFTRA’s then-president Roberta Reardon, Vaughn was often the public voice for the pro-merger side.

Vaughn opted not to seek office in the first SAG-AFTRA elections, which concluded last week, and his term as exec VP was set to expire at SAG-AFTRA’s inaugural convention on Sept. 26- 29 in Los Angeles. His duties and responsibilities will be assumed by the Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino until a new exec VP is elected at the convention.

Howard, who was re-elected last week over Esai Morales, said, “Ned has been a driving force behind many of our greatest successes, in particular the years-long effort to merge our two unions. There would not be a united SAG-AFTRA without his dedication and commitment. He’s a tremendous leader and I’m sorry to see him go, but wish him all the best in his new endeavor.”

Vaughn disclosed Wednesday that he is seeking the Republican nomination for the 66th District, which covers the South Bay area including Torrance, Gardena and Redondo Beach. Democrat Al Muratsuchi was elected to the post last year with 55% of the vote for a two-year term.

Vaughn’s platform offered the promise that he will work for lower taxes and less regulation.

“California used to be a place where people came to seek their fortune,” he said. “Now it costs a fortune. We have the highest sales tax, gasoline tax, and personal income tax in the nation. You’d think all those taxes would pay for the very best schools in the country, but our public schools rank among the nation’s worst. And while California was once a magnet for entrepreneurs and innovators, today, over-regulation and the high cost of doing business are forcing job creators to leave our state. “

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