Former Writers Guild of America West president Patric M. Verrone, the leader of the WGA’s raucous 2007-08 strike, is seeking a seat in the California State Senate.
Verrone is one of six Democratic candidates who have filed to succeed Democrat State Senator Ted Lieu, who is running for the Congressional seat of retiring Rep. Henry Waxman.
Verrone is a resident of Pacific Palisades, the northern part of the 26th District which runs on the coastline starting in Palos Verdes and including Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and part of Hollywood.
Other declared candidates include Santa Monica school board member Ben Allen; attorney Barbi Appelquist; former Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, who represented another district from 2010 to 2012; women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke; and Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth. California’s primary election takes place June 3 and its general election is Nov. 4.
Verrone, who won a two-year seat on the WGA West board in September, disclosed his candidacy to fellow writers in an email Saturday with a pitch for funds.
“I think of the important days in my life,” he said. “Getting married of course to my incredible partner. The birth of our children. Winning a few Emmys, I guess. And of course, the day we won the writer’s strike. This is one of those days.”
Verrone said he is seeking financial help for his run.
“This region scripted the California Dream,” he said. “From aircraft factories to movie studios, we produced middle-class jobs that bought homes, sent kids to college, and provided families with a secure retirement. Now, we must preserve those jobs and attract new ones to keep the dream alive. That’s what my campaign will be about and if you agree its a campaign that must be waged and won – please help any way you can.”
Additionally, he said that the maximum donation is $4,100 per person, adding, “but every single donation of any amount is welcome and will be put to use winning this campaign and advancing this cause. As president of the Writers Guild of America, West, I did what I believe every elected leader should do. I fought for what matters, led a struggle to save thousands of good jobs, and won.”
He said that preserving and creating quality jobs that strengthen the middle class will still matter most to him.
“Better schools, affordable colleges, and high-wage industries will allow us to prosper, protect the environment, make our streets safer, and serve our senior citizens,” Verrone said. “I’ve lived in this district for 27 years. Our three children were born and raised here. It is here I wrote for shows including ‘The Tonight Show,’ ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Futurama.’ It is here I joined, and helped lead, the fight to make sure the Internet creates well-paying jobs for the many, not just massive wealth for the few.”
Verrone won consecutive terms as WGA West prexy in 2005 and 2007 and was prevented by guild rules from seeking a third term in 2009. He lost a bid for the presidency in 2011 to Christopher Keyser, best known as the “Party of Five” showrunner. Keyser won the contest against Verrone by offering a low-key contrast with Verrone’s confrontational style, highlighted by the high drama of the strike.
Verrone, 54, concluded the pitch letter by noting his work on the animated sci-fi series “Futurama,” on which he worked since the 1999 launch.
“At ‘Futurama,’ I wrote a lot about the future,” he said. “For California, the future is still being written. In the script we write together, there’s a happy ending. Please join me in in this cause. We’re still in this together.”