Get Ready to Run for Delegate

December 20, 2010: In early 2011, almost every local will elect delegates to the Teamster Convention.

Find out how you can run for delegate and help make sure Teamsters get a choice in the election for Teamster President.

Almost all Teamster locals will hold an election in early 2011 for delegates and alternate delegates to attend the Teamster Convention, which will be held in Las Vegas on June 27 – July 1, 2011.

The convention will nominate candidates to run for Teamster president, and all the vice president positions.

Sandy Pope needs the support of five percent of the delegates to get on the ballot.

The convention also has the power to review and amend the entire Teamster Constitution. Reform delegates will put forward specific changes to make our union more accountable to members, and all delegates get a vote.

The first nominations will be held in January, with ballots going out in February. Other locals will be holding nominations in February and March. You can download a schedule for your local at

Are you thinking about running for delegate to the Teamster Convention? Now is the time to get started.

How Are Delegate Elections Different?

Delegate elections are a lot like any other Teamster elections—you’ll need to win over support from members and turn out the votes you need to win.

But there are some differences:

  • Many members want to send rank and filers to represent them at the IBT Convention.
  • Most members want to have a choice in the International election—not just a rubber stamp for Hoffa.
  • The delegate election will be supervised by the Federal Election Supervisor.

Because of these reasons, many members find it easier to run and win for delegate than they do in a normal local union election.

What You Need to Win

What does it take to get the votes you need to win? Here are the essentials you’ll need:

  • A diverse slate. If you’re in a smaller local, there may only one delegate position and one alternate position up for election. If you’re in a larger local with more delegates, you’ll want to put together a slate that represents members from different employers so that you can maximize your support.
  • Time to campaign at the gates and in the shops. If members don’t know you, they won’t vote for you. You need to get out there, talk to members, listen to their problems, and get your message out.
  • Quality campaign literature. Good literature can help you get your point across. But bad lit can make you look weak, defensive, whiny, unqualified, or all of the above. Contact TDU for advice on effective literature.
  • One mailing to all the members in the local, timed to arrive right before the ballots. As a candidate, you have the right to send mailings to the members in support of your campaign. Mailings are one of the most effective ways to turn out the votes you need to win.
  • A phone bank to call members and turn out the vote. Many members never vote—and their ballot gets lost in a pile of other mail. They need a reminder, on the phone, to fill out their ballot and send it.
  • Enough money to pay for a mailing and your campaign. Contact TDU or the Sandy Pope Campaign for advice and guidance on raising money and how much you can spend.

Get help from TDU

TDU has over three decades of experience running winning campaigns for local office.

Contact TDU for advice or to set up a training on running for delegate in your area.

Rights & Resources: