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Matthew Weiner, Glen Mazzara, Patric Verrone Seeking Writers Guild Seats

Former Writers Guild of America West President Patric Verrone, “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner, “The Walking Dead” executive producer Glen Mazzara and comedian Keenen Ivory Wayans have been nominated to run for eight open seats on the WGA West’s board of directors.

Verrone, best known for leading the 2007-08 WGA strike, is running as an incumbent as are Marjorie David, Jonathan Fernandez and Chip Johannessen. Others seeking seats are Ligiah Villalobos, David Slack, Ali LeRoi, Courtney Ellinger, Dan Wilcox, Zoanne Clack and Richard Keith.

Weiner received nine Emmys for his work on “Mad Men” and “The Sopranos.” Mazzara was the executive producer of “Walking Dead” on its second and third seasons and is the creator and executive producer of “Damien.”

Wayans is best known as the host and co-creator of “In Living Color.”

The election is likely to fuel discussions about details of a successor deal to the current WGA master contract, which expires on May 1. The open seats are for a two-year term.

Johannessen was the co-chair of the negotiating committee with Billy Ray in 2014 when the guild reached the current deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Talks for a successor deal with the AMPTP have not yet been set.

In addition to the candidates selected by the nominating committee, eligible members may also be nominated by petition. Members seeking nomination must obtain 15 member signatures in support of their petitions and submit those by July 22.

The WGAW will host its annual “candidates night” forum, where guild members may meet and pose questions to the candidates, on Aug. 31 at WGAW headquarters in Los Angeles.

Ballots will be counted on Sept. 19. The elections usually generate participation of about 20% to 30% of the 8,000 eligible members, with 27% casting ballots last fall when Howard A. Rodman was elected president over Joan Meyerson.

The WGA West jointly negotiates with the WGA East on the guild’s master contract with producers. Campaigning for the 2015 election focused on the need to prepare for those talks.


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