October 15, 2010: Sandy Pope, a national Teamster leader and long-time reformer, has entered the race for Teamster President. In just days, her campaign has started to generate excitement and campaign action.
Pope declared her candidacy at a gathering of supporters in New York on October 10: “Except for his last name, I don’t think anyone would confuse James Hoffa with his father,” said Pope.
Vincent Lattimore, a member of New York Local 237 said that “The meeting was a great kick-off to Sandy Pope’s campaign. I was inspired by her energy and sincerity—she will be a President who works to train our members to organize and negotiate good contracts.
“The team in our local set a goal of getting 2,500 petition signatures for Sandy. We’ve already got a few hundred in just the first couple days.”
Pope has already gotten some national media coverage, been out campaigning in New York and will be in Chicago this weekend. Hundreds of emails, calls and donations have come in to the campaign office.
The campaign is spreading to areas where Hoffa had little competition in the 2006 election. In Phoenix Local 104, John Davidson reports that “We’re getting a very positive response, we’ll be able to get 500 petition signatures. A lot of members tell us we need new blood, and definitely need a choice in the election.”
The campaign website is www.SandyPope2011.org
The campaign’s first challenge is a petition drive to become an officially Accredited Candidate for General President. Teamsters in various areas are setting local goals and making plans to deliver a huge petition output. Read more about the petition drive.
“Tough economic times require tough leadership,” said Pope. “Wall Street drove our economy over the cliff, but working people are the ones paying the price—and, too often, unions are the ones getting the blame. We need to stand up to that, not cave in.
“I’ve mobilized members to protect their health benefits and pensions while Hoffa has been giving away the store,” Pope said.
She has not chosen a slate, but is targeting the powerful position of General President. She is holding open various options, because slates and candidates will not be nominated until late June, 2011.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) has endorsed Sandy Pope and will support her candidacy. TDU’s Steering Committee voted unanimously to back the campaign, after consulting TDU chapters, and activists and members, along with other Teamster leaders.
Pope ran for General Secretary Treasurer with Tom Leedham in 2006, and topped the poll for the challengers. Leedham is supporting Pope’s campaign. He told a group of campaigners and Teamster leaders that: “We have the candidate who can win.”