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SAG-AFTRA: Paul Edney Throws Support Behind Rival Presidential Candidate Esai Morales

He says that he doesn't want to split vote and rival has "better chance of winning"

Paul Edney, a candidate for president of SAG-AFTRA, on Sunday threw his support to rival candidate Esai Morales.

“Although I have spent a lot of time, effort and money on my campaign to be on the ballot for the National President of SAG-AFTRA, I realize that Esai Morales stands a much better chance than me of winning,” said Edney (photo) in statement on his web site.

“I don't wish to split the vote, and since we see eye-to-eye on just about everything that needs to be done for our union, especially background, I have decided to endorse Esai Morales wholeheartedly.”

Also read: SAG-AFTRA Finalizes Candidate List for First Post-Merger National Election

Morales is running against Ken Howard, currently co-president of SAG-AFTRA along with Robert Reardon, as well as Marilyn Monrovia.

SAG’s Howard and AFTRA’s Reardon have been co-presidents since March of last year, when members approved the merger of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Morales is heading a slate of candidates for Membership First, the group that opposed the merger since it became an in issue in 1999. They'll try to gain control of the SAG-AFTRA board from the Unite for Strength faction, which is headed by Howard and avidly pursued merger.

Edney also endorsed Membership First’s Jane Austin in her race for national secretary-treasurer against Amy Aquino.

SAG-AFTRA late Friday night finalized the list of candidates for its first national elections since the 2012 merger. Ballots for the national, Los Angeles and New York elections will go out Tuesday and the deadline for their return is Aug. 15.