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UAW election: Challenger for president gains early lead, Region 1 poised for new director

Jordyn Grzelewski, The Detroit News on

Published in Automotive News

Early unofficial results in the United Auto Workers' first-ever direct elections of international officers confirmed that at least one runoff will occur, and showed numerous challengers to incumbent union officials ahead.

Vote tabulation began Tuesday. Turnout numbers released by the court-appointed monitor tasked with overseeing the union, as well as the election, showed that just 11% of UAW members cast ballots, signaling a lack of engagement among rank-and-file members even as a number of pressing issues face the Detroit-based union. A total of 106,790 ballots were returned out of the more than 1 million that were mailed out to active and retired members.

The International Executive Board, the union's top leadership, will have 14 members, including UAW president, secretary-treasurer, three vice presidents and nine regional directors.

Incumbent President Ray Curry heads the Curry Solidarity Team slate and is vying for election against four challengers: Shawn Fain, an international UAW administrative representative in the Stellantis Department who is running as part of the UAW Members United candidate slate; Mark "Gibby" Gibson, Detroit Diesel Corp. shop chairperson at Local 163 in Westland; Brian Keller, an employee at Stellantis NV's quality engineering center in Auburn Hills, Michigan, who ran for UAW president in 2018; and Will Lehman, a Pennsylvania-based Mack Trucks Inc. worker.

As of Wednesday, the monitor's office had provided unofficial results from UAW Regions 1 and 9, totaling 21,715 ballots, or roughly 20% of the total that were cast. Full preliminary results are expected within the next several days.

In the event a candidate doesn't earn more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election will occur. Any needed runoffs would happen in January, with vote tabulation beginning in February.

 

The early results showed Fain with a narrow lead of approximately 39% to Curry's roughly 38.5%, while the other three candidates for president trailed.

In the secretary-treasurer race, early results showed Margaret Mock, a Members United candidate, ahead of incumbent Frank Stuglin, a Curry Solidarity Team candidate, roughly 61% to 39%.

In the race for three international vice president positions, eight candidates ran. Rich Boyer, Mike Booth and incumbent Chuck Browning were in the top three, according to the early unofficial results. Boyer and Booth are part of the Members United slate, while Browning is on the Curry Solidarity Team slate.

Region 1 appeared poised to have a new director, as Members United candidate LaShawn English had more than 52% of the vote to incumbent James Harris' 47%, according to the unofficial results. Harris is part of the Curry Solidarity Team.

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