SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard Reelected

Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino was reelected also; Howard defeated Esai Morales.

Union co-president Ken Howard and co-secretary-treasurer Amy Aquino were both reelected for a third term, the union announced Thursday. They will serve two-year terms, this time as sole president and secretary-treasurer, respectively. (That is, there are no more “co-“ officers.)

Ballots for the national officers election were mailed to 139,967 eligible SAG-AFTRA members on July 16, and 28,755 were tabulated Thursday, for a turnout of 20.54 percent. Howard received 16,396 votes (57 percent), with Esai Morales receiving 9,850 votes (34 percent), Paul Edney (who dropped out and endorsed Morales) 1,359 votes (5 percent) and Marilyn Monrovia 960 votes (3 percent).

Aquino received 17,590 votes (62 percent), while challenger Jane Austin received 10,662 (38 percent).

Howard and Aquino were endorsed by – and are leaders of – Unite for Strength, though they technically ran as independents. Morales and Austin topped the ticket for Membership1st, formerly known as MembershipFirst, which didn’t field any national officer candidates in 2011.

Two years ago, the turnout was about 23 percent. Howard received about 75 percent of the vote that year, running against three lesser-known challengers. Aquino was unopposed that year, and received 87 percent when measured against the number of ballots returned.

“I'm gratified that members across the country have reelected me to lead our union and continue building on the strong foundation we created through merger,” said Howard. “I look forward to joining the delegates who will assemble in Los Angeles for the first SAG-AFTRA convention in late September, and then moving forward with the new leadership team to do the important work that members have entrusted to us.”

Aquino said, “This is an extremely exciting time for our union, and I’m deeply grateful to my fellow members for their vote of confidence in what we’ve already achieved, and for the continued opportunity to help focus SAG-AFTRA’s resources to build the effective organization that we all need and deserve.”

A working actor for more than 40 years, Howard has an extensive resume that includes work on television, movies and the stage, including the recent ACOD, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival. An Emmy and Tony Award winner, he helped create and starred in The White Shadow from 1978 – 1982, and has had recurring roles on 30 Rock, Dynasty, Melrose Place and Crossing Jordan. He is the author of the book Act Natural, and serves as the chancellor of the National Kidney Foundation. Howard was first elected national president of SAG in 2009. Re-elected in 2011, he was named co-president of SAG-AFTRA when the two unions merged on March 30, 2012.

Aquino’s career in acting spans more than two decades. She has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including Moonstruck, Glee, Law & Order, Castle, Monk, ER, CSI and Everybody Loves Raymond. She also has an extensive career in theater, and holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama.  Aquino was first elected national secretary-treasurer of SAG in 2009 and was elected to a second term in 2011. She previously served as a SAG officer for 11 years, including two terms as vice president.

SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White welcomed the officers saying, “I would like to extend my congratulations to the newly elected board of directors and especially to President Howard and Secretary-Treasurer Aquino.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Ken and Amy over the past several years and look forward to the opportunity to continue our efforts. ”

Ballots are still being tabulated for the union’s two largest local elections in Los Angeles and New York. Results are expected later today. Results for the 23 regional locals were previously reported.

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