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5th UPDATE: One interesting note which both sides have pointed out to me tonight. If the SAG presidency race had just consisted of Unite For Strength’s Ken Howard and Membership First’s Anne-Marie Johnson (without spoiler Seymour Cassell whose positions were extremely hardline), then Johnson would have won the popular vote. More on this in a SAG/WGA election analysis I’m writing tonight.

4TH UPDATE: Here’s the official SAG announcement, finally:

Guild Also Announces Results of National Board Elections

Los Angeles (September 24, 2009)—Screen Actors Guild today announced results of elections for its top two elected positions. Ken Howard will serve as Screen Actors Guild president and Amy Aquino will serve as secretary-treasurer. Both will serve two-year terms beginning September 25.

Ballots were mailed to 99,485 paid-up SAG members on August 25, and 27,295 were tabulated today, for a return of 27.44 percent. Presidential candidates Ken Howard received 12,895 votes, with Anne-Marie Johnson coming in second with 8,906 votes, Seymour Cassel got 4,838 votes, and Asmar Muhammad received 402 votes.

“I’d like to be among the first to extend my heartfelt congratulations to our newly elected Screen Actors Guild national leadership. I look forward to working closely with our new president, Ken Howard, and new secretary-treasurer, Amy Aquino, as we focus on the wide range of critical issues facing our members in the coming year,” said SAG Interim National Executive Director David White. “I also extend my thanks, and the gratitude of SAG members and staff to Alan Rosenberg and Connie Stevens for their service and sacrifice on behalf of our union.”

“I am deeply honored to be chosen by the membership to lead the Screen Actors Guild,” said Ken Howard. “I campaigned on the promise that I’d do everything in my power to strengthen our position at the bargaining table by building a greater unity with AFTRA and the other entertainment unions, and that’s exactly what I intend to do. Despite the sharp differences that those of us active in Guild affairs sometimes have over strategy and tactics, we need to continually remind ourselves that we’re all on the same team, fighting for the same thing — and by pulling together, we’ll only grow stronger.”

“I am truly honored that the members have entrusted me with this responsibility,” said Amy Aquino. “Progress has already been made toward strengthening SAG’s finances and I want to make sure it continues. Only by fortifying SAG in this way can we hope to ensure the protections that performers need in these challenging times.”

Screen Actors Guild also announced election results for the National Board of Directors. Twenty-two of the 69 national board seats were open for election this year, representing Screen Actors Guild’s Hollywood, New York and Regional Branch divisions.

“It is my privilege to welcome and congratulate our newly elected Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors for 2009-2010,” said White. “Along with our staff nationwide, I look forward to working with them to pursue a robust agenda as we navigate the Guild through these changing times.”

The National Board members elected today will assume office on September 25 for terms of three years.

SAG’s Hollywood Division elected eleven National Board members; the New York Division elected four National Board members; and seven National Board members were elected from the union’s branches in Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Philadelphia, Portland and San Diego.

National Board members elected from the Hollywood Division: Martin Sheen, Ed Harris, Elliott Gould, Ed Asner, Anne-Marie Johnson, Connie Stevens, Diane Ladd, Dulé Hill, Hill Harper, Nancy Travis, and Marcia Wallace (all three-year terms).

The following were elected to serve as National Board alternates and to the Hollywood Division Board of Directors (all one-year terms). Gabrielle Carteris, Jenny O’Hara, Michael O’Keefe, Clyde Kusatsu, Dawnn Lewis, Doug Savant, Michelle Allsopp, Alan Rosenberg, D. W. Moffett, Joe Bologna, Robert Hays, Jason George, L. Scott Caldwell, Clark Gregg, Patrick Fabian, Bill Smitrovich, Ellen Crawford, Stacey Travis, Mandy Steckelberg, Renee Taylor, Bernie Casey and John Carroll Lynch.

National Board members elected from the New York Division: Sharon Washington, Monica Trombetta, Sam Freed and Liz Zazzi (all three-year terms). Additionally, New York Division members elected Mike Hodge as NY Division President.

The following were elected to serve as national board alternates and to the New York Division board of directors (all one-year terms.) Manny Alfaro, Sheila Head, Marc Baron, Joe Narciso, Jay Potter, Dave Bachman, John Rothman, Kevin Scullin and Justin Barrett.

National Board members elected from the Regional Branch Division: John Carter Brown (Chicago – three-year term), David Hartley-Margolin (Colorado – three-year term), Dave Corey (Florida – three-year term), Scott Rogers (Hawaii – three-year term), Helen McNutt (Philadelphia – three-year term), Mary McDonald-Lewis (Portland – three-year term), Don Ahles (San Diego – three-year term).

Ballots for all eligible SAG members in Hollywood and New York were mailed on August 25 with a September 24 return deadline and were tabulated today by the independent election company Integrity Voting Systems. A total of 13,718 ballots were tabulated in the Hollywood Division (representing 25.25 percent of ballots mailed in the Hollywood Division) and 5,997 ballots were tabulated in the New York Division (representing 26.11 percent of ballots mailed in the New York Division). The number of ballots returned in the Regional Branch elections varied by region.

For complete results, please visit

3RD UPDATE: (story coming) There are still no official announcements yet. But the coalition partners Unite For Strength and United Screen Actors Nationwide strangely broke the embargo that SAG set for itself today and leaked to reporters that Ken Howard has defeated Membership First’s Anne-Marie Johnson and is SAG’s new president while USAN’s Mike Hodge is the NY Division’s new president. In addition, UFS told reporters that it picked up several seats on the Hollywood board while its partner USAN picked up MF-siding independent candidate Eric Bogosian’s seat since he chose not to seek re-election.

2:30 PM UPDATE: There are still no official announcements yet. (SAG has told media to expect results at 3 PM.) But I’ve confirmed that Mike Hodge has been elected president of the Screen Actors Guild’s New York Division. And sources are telling me that SAGNOW did not win a single new seat in the New York Division contest. This means it is unlikely that MemberShip First, which was affiliated with SAGNOW, can re-take the majority of the Guild. And it is likely that Unite For Strength and its coalition partners in the NY Division, United Screen Actors Nationwide, and the Regional Branches Division, have widened their majority and thus strengthened their powerbase over the Guild as a whole. (The Regional Division results won’t be known until 5 PM or later today.

This was the first election when an opposition slate, SAGNOW, was formally fielded against USAN. MembershipFirst had been counting on picking up some NY Division seats in order to regain the SAG majority. Instead, SAGNOW was blanked despite the slate containing some well-known names. But, even worse for MF, its supporter, independent Eric Bogosian who was serving a one year term on the NY Division Board, did not run for re-election. So his seat was regained by USAN. (He also was an alternate on the National Board, in the second position in New York.)

As for the Hollywood board, every extra seat Unite for Strength wins (presuming it does) means a loss for Membership First, which is still expected to retain its domination of the Hollywood board.

NY Division’s Hodge succeeds Sam Freed, who did not seek re-election. “I am thrilled,” Hodge told Backstage. “We absolutely have a mandate to work and build for our members.” Hodge defeated Mitchell Green, who ran on the SAGNOW slate, which was aligned with the MembershipFirst faction. Like Freed, Hodge is a member of USCAN, the block that has held control over the New York division for years.