Sunday, August 23, 2015
THE TEAMSTERS’ AUGUST SURPRISE: AL MIXON
Al Mixon, chairman of the Teamsters National Black Caucus, has jumped into the 2016 race for the presidency of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The candidacy of Mixon, who is secretary-treasurer of Cleveland Local 507, transforms the election into a three-way contest. His opponents: incumbent Teamsters general president James P. Hoffa and Tim Sylvester, president of New York Teamsters Local 804, home of the late Teamsters General President Ron Carey.
The revelation that Mixon has launched a petition drive to be accredited as a presidential candidate came not from an announcement by Mixon, but from the Teamsters United Facebook page. Teamsters United and Teamsters for a Democratic Union are backing Sylvester.
Mixon currently is an international vice president, elected in 2011 on the Hoffa slate. I have no idea why Mixon has split with Hoffa. Sylvester said on his website: “Long-time allies, Mixon and Hoffa broke with each other this Spring.” Not a very informative comment.
The next few days will reveal whether Sylvester's petition drive to be certified as a presidential candidate has been successful. A minimum of 30,794 signatures are needed to be certified. Sylvester supporters are aiming for 50,000.
At this point, Al Mixon is only a name in the game with no indication of whether he will launch a full-fledged slate or will run alone. I don’t know how potent the Teamsters National Black Caucus is and whether or not it gives Mixon a significant political base for the 2016 election.
The first test of his candidacy will be his petition drive for accreditation.
Accreditation gives a candidate the opportunity to print campaign ads in the Teamster magazine and a list of the entire Teamster membership for mailings and other forms of access.
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