EXCLUSIVE: Supporters of SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris continue to rack up wins in local elections across the country – a juggernaut that shows all signs of propelling her to re-election when the ballots for national office are counted Thursday.
Supporters of her Unite For Strength slate swept the New England local elections on Friday. Bill Mootos was re-elected to the union’s national board of directors, handily defeating four other challengers; Michelle Proude was re-elected president, defeating two challengers; Ellen Colton was elected secretary; and Tom Kemp and Vic Ramos were elected vice presidents.
Carteris’ supporters have won handily in local elections, with many running unopposed. In New Mexico, Carteris supporter Mel Mackaron won re-election to the national board Friday but by the slimmest of margins – a single vote. In a field of five candidates, he defeated his next nearest rival Marc Comstock, 77-76. Mackaron was defeated, however, in his bid to remain 1st VP, losing to Tom Schuch 139-89. It was one of the few local elections to date in which a Carteris supporter went down to defeat.
National board members from the union’s 23 outlying locals have long supported UFS, helping to solidify its board majority in Los Angeles. Opposition board members in L.A., represented by Membership First, are hoping to pick up seats and are backing Esai Morales in his bid to unseat Carteris. In New York, the USAN slate, which controls all of the local’s national board seats, are strong supporters of Carteris, while its rival NY Coalition 4 Unity has not taken a position on the national presidential race, although one of its leaders, national board member Anne Gartlan, is supporting Carteris and her running mate Jason George.
In the Arizona-Utah local, UFS supporters Margie Ghigo was re-elected to the national board and Joe Corcoran was re-elected president. Both were running unopposed. In Colorado, UFS supporter Sheila Ivy Traister was re-elected without opposition as president and national board members. In Nashville, UFS supporter Michael Montgomery was re-elected president without opposition.
As previously reported, Carteris supporters have won seats on the union’s national board in San Francisco, Hawaii, Dallas-Fort Worth, the Missouri Valley, the Twin Cities, and the Washington-Mid-Atlantic local. They also won the presidencies of locals in Atlanta, New Orleans, Hawaii, Dallas-Fort Worth, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Houston-Austin, Michigan, the Missouri Valley, and the Twin Cities.
In Chicago, Ilyssa Fradin won a four-year seat on the national board and UFS supporter John Carter Brown won a two-year seat. Fradin, also the union’s national vice president for mid-sized locals, is not aligned with any of the major slates but is a strong supporter of Carteris and George.