WASHINGTON - Incumbent Teamsters President James Hoffa was re-elected to a fourth term in final results announced by an independent overseer on Nov. 18.
Hoffa's running mate, new Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall, and the rest of the incumbent president's slate will join him. The consent decree the Teamsters signed with the U.S. Justice Department more than 20 years ago requires rank-and-file one-member one-vote balloting, complete with the independent oversight.
Final results showed Hoffa with 137,172 votes, ahead of challengers Fred Gagare (54,148) and Sandy Pope (39,251). There were 13,457 challenged ballots. Gagare made Hoffa's failure to get the consent decree lifted a top campaign plank. Pope, a New York local leader, was the first woman to seek the union's highest office.
Hoffa won 59.4 percent of the valid votes, Gagare won 23.5 percent and Pope 17 percent. With 136,497 votes, Hall defeated challengers Jim Sheard (56,854) and Gary Marquardt (27,934) with the same number of challenged ballots.
Hoffa-endorsed board candidates, including Graphic Communications Conference President George Tedeschi, also won. Tedeschi drew 134,523, the third-highest total among 14 candidates for seven at-large vice-presidential slots.
"The members have spoken," Hoffa said after the election totals announcement. "This is not just our slate's victory but a victory for all working Americans who are fighting to save America's middle class. We traveled across this country to mobilize our members to fight the right-wing attack on workers.
"Teamster members responded because they know it is not workers who are to blame for the crisis facing America - it is the greed and corruption of big business and Wall Street and their bought and paid-for puppets in Congress.
"Now that this election is completed we will intensify our efforts in the fight for all working families. The Teamsters' strength is in organizing the unorganized, fighting for strong health care, good wages, secure retirement, and holding employers and politicians accountable," Hoffa concluded.
Hoffa has been Teamsters president since December 1998, when he defeated the incumbent, the late Ron Carey, in a rerun election ordered after Carey's campaign was found to have illegally used union funds for electioneering. Hoffa was re-elected in 2001 and 2006. If he serves out his new 5-year term, which starts in March, Hoffa will be the union's second-longest-serving president, surpassing his late father.
Hall succeeds veteran Secretary-Treasurer Tom Keegel.
Photo: Jon Huss // CC 2.0