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WGA, West President John Wells won't run again

June 21, 2011 |  5:22 pm

Writer-producer John Wells won't seek another term as president of the Writers Guild of America, West, clearing the way for a closely-watched election that could change the course of the writers union.

Wells, a political moderate who steered the guild through a period of relative labor calm over the last Wells two years, has decided not to run again. Wells could not be reached for comment, but people close to him said he wanted to spend more time on his work, including directing an upcoming movie and serving as an executive producer on two television shows, "Southland" and "Shameless."

His former opponent Patric M. Verrone, who ran the guild during a 100-day strike that began in 2008, has declared his intent to run for the top office position in elections this fall, according to a guild statement. Verrone will square off against the lesser known TV writer Christopher Keyser ("Party of Five"), a moderate who ran on the Wells ticket two years ago in an unsuccessful bid to be the union's secretary-treasurer.

Howard Rodman and Verrone supporter David Weiss are running for vice president and secretary-treasurer positions, respectively. Also running for those seats are TV writer John Aboud and Carl Gottlieb, a former board member and writer for the movie "Jaws."

In addition to the officer positions, 17 candidates, including supporters of Wells and Verrone, have been nominated to run for eight open seats on the writers union board. Guild members will cast ballots on Sept. 15.

-- Richard Verrier

Photo: John Wells, producer and current president of the Writers Guild of America, West. Credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images.