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SAG's Ken Howard wins second term as guild president

September 22, 2011 |  5:34 pm

Howard SAG
Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard was easily re-elected to a second term as president of the 125,000-member union.

Howard, who did not face serious opposition, defeated three other lesser known candidates in the presidential contest.  

His victory is likely to add further momentum toward merging SAG with its smaller sister union, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists. Howard and his supporters have campaigned heavily on combining the unions to give actors more clout in negotiations and end conflicts between the two groups.

SAG and AFTRA have established committees that are expected to craft a merger plan, including a proposed constitution of the new union, by early next year.

“There’s nothing more important than members exercising their right to vote, and I’m very grateful for their continued support,” said Howard, a veteran film and TV actor who starred in "The White Shadow" series. “With so many pro-merger candidates elected again this year, there’s no doubt what members want, and I look forward to presenting a comprehensive plan to the SAG and AFTRA national boards in January.”

Howard's running mate, Amy Aquino, whose credits include appearances on "ER" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" also was re-elected as secretary-treasurer. She ran unopposed. In all, 11 of 12 national board seats from the Hollywood division that were up for grabs were won by supporters of Howard and his Unite for Strength group, which further solidified its control over the board.

“I think this is a validation of all the hard work we’ve been doing to protect performers by bringing SAG and AFTRA together,” said Ned Vaughn, first vice president of SAG, who was re-elected to the board. "I think it's clear what members are looking for and we're going to continue working hard to deliver it." 

-- Richard Verrier 

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Photo: Ken Howard. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times