Esai Morales will square off against SAG-AFTRA co-President Ken Howard… (Paul Buck / EPA / Chris Pizzello…)
"NYPD Blue" actor Esai Morales will square off against SAG-AFTRA co-President Ken Howard in an election this summer to determine who will lead Hollywood's largest entertainment union.
SAG-AFTRA said late Friday night that Howard and Morales had registered to run in elections that will begin next week to select a new president for the union representing actors, recording artists, broadcasters and other performers.
Morales, a former SAG board member and star of "La Bamba," is part of a slate of candidates known as Membership First that strongly opposed the merger of the former SAG and AFTRA unions a year ago.
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Howard, who was first elected as SAG's president in 2009, championed the merger. He and his supporters trounced Membership First in elections in 2010 and swept control of the national board. The veteran actor and star of 1970s television show "The White Shadow" won a supporting actor Emmy for “Grey Gardens” in 2009.
Also running for president are background actors Marilyn Monrovia and Paul Edney.
Stuntwoman Jane Austin, who is part of Morales' slate, is challenging incumbent Amy Aquino, star of the "ER" TV series, for the position of secretary-treasurer.
Ballots for elected officers and national board positions will go out July 16 and must be returned by Aug. 15.
An executive vice president and vice presidents representing various locals will be elected at the first SAG-AFTRA convention in September.
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