There’s a big surprise today in the Writers Guild West‘s 2013 initial list of election candidates: the scribe selected to run against incumbent president Christopher Keyser declined the nomination. That means, unless someone else can be convinced to run, Keyser right now is running unopposed. He was a newcomer to WGAW leadership first elected two years ago when he defeated the polarizing Patric Verrone. Even back then, in 2011, few people stepped forward to run for the presidency: insiders told me that was because of great apathy. It seems nothing has changed even though the WGA constitution doesn’t allow for uncontested races:

Los Angeles – The Writers Guild of America, West’s Nominating Committees have announced the initial list of candidates for the 2013 WGAW Officers and Board of Directors election.

The Officer candidates are as follows: President* – Christopher Keyser (inc.); Vice President – Timothy J. Lea, Howard A. Rodman (inc.); Secretary-Treasurer – Dan Wilcox, Carl Gottlieb (inc.). (*The second nominee designated by the committee declined the nomination.)

There are 16 candidates nominated to run for eight open seats on the WGAW’s Board of Directors as follows: Thania St. John (inc.), Andrew Goldberg, Cynthia Riddle, Ari B. Rubin, Carleton Eastlake (inc.), Nancy Miller, Jonathan Fernandez, Henry Alonso Myers, Patric M. Verrone, Billy Ray (inc.), Alfredo Barrios, Jr. (inc.), Flint Dille, Lee Aronsohn, David Maples, Karen Harris, David S. Goyer (inc.).

Editors’ note: WGAW internal rules require candidates to be announced in an order determined by lot; (inc.) denotes an incumbent candidate.

In addition to the candidates selected by the Nominating Committees, eligible members may also be nominated by petition. Members seeking nomination for the office of President, Vice President, or Secretary-Treasurer must obtain 50 member signatures in support of their petitions. Members seeking nomination for the Board of Directors must obtain 25 member signatures in support of their petitions. The deadline for submitting signed petitions to the WGAW is Tuesday, July 23, 12:00 p.m. (PDT). Members may submit online nomination petitions by visiting the members-only section of the WGAW’s website at: www.wga.org.

The WGAW will host its annual “Candidates Night” town-hall forum, where Guild members may meet and pose questions to their Officer and BOD candidates, on Tuesday, September 3, at WGAW headquarters in Los Angeles.

Guild members will receive candidate, non-candidate, and rebuttal statements, if any, with their ballots prior to the election. Candidates may mail additional campaign materials at their own expense. The voting period concludes at 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on Monday, September 16. Members may vote by mail or in person from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (PDT) at the Guild on September 16. In accordance with labor law, proxy voting is not permitted in Guild elections of officer or Board members. Ballots will be counted on Tuesday, September 17, and election results announced pending final tally.

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.