SAG-AFTRA re-elected Ken Howard as national president with 53.74 percent of the vote, the union announced on Thursday.
Jane Austin won in both the Los Angeles president and national secretary-treasurer elections, while Mike Hodge was re-elected as New York president.
Howard, 71, will serve another a 2-year term as leader of the performing artists labor union. Howard was first elected national president of Screen Actors Guild in 2009. Re-elected in 2011, he was named co-president of SAG-AFTRA when the two unions merged March 2012 and became the union’s first elected president in August 2013.
“Serving the members of Screen Actors Guild and now SAG-AFTRA has been one of the greatest privileges of my life as an actor,” Howard said in a statement. “I am honored and grateful to the members for their confidence in our team. From merger to contract gains and beyond, we have together built a strong union that is focused on economic security and opportunity for members. But the fight to protect performers is never over and I am eager to continue it. I thank the members for their support and I’m excited to get back to work.”
Ballots for the national officers election were mailed to 139,313 eligible voters on July 21, 2015, and 30,263 were returned, for a return of 21.72 percent. Howard received 16,233 votes, with Patricia Richardson receiving 13,976 votes.
Austin was elected National Secretary-Treasurer with 15,772 votes, or 52.72 percent of the vote against Jenny O’Hara’s 47.28 percent result, reflecting 14,143 votes.
“The union’s financial well-being is key to its success, and I want to thank the members for entrusting me with this tremendous responsibility,” Austin said. “Working with President Howard and the National Board, I am confident we can ensure a strong and secure future for members.”
In local elections, Austin won the L.A. presidency, while Esai Morales and Ellen Crawford were elected vice presidents. (L.A. board members are listed below.)
In addition to Hodge’s re-election as New York president, Maureen Donnelly, Holter Graham, Jim Kerr and Rebecca Damon were elected as vice presidents.
The union’s No. 2 position, executive vice president, as well the seven vice president positions, will be elected by delegates at SAG-AFTRA’s biennial convention, which takes place in Los Angeles on Oct. 1-4.
The following were elected as L.A. board members:
Vivicca A. Whitsett
The following were elected as New York board members:
Gerald M. Kline
SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. The organization has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide.
Full election results and more information are available at sagaftra.org/2015elections.