With ballots still being counted, James P. Hoffa opened a broad lead over opponents Fred Gegare and Sandy Pope Wednesday in the Teamsters union elections.
The Teamsters general president, fighting to hold onto an office he has held since 1999, won handily in the union’s South region and, reportedly, the Central region.
According to a partial ballot count released Wednesday by the union’s election supervisor, Hoffa had 21,269 votes, winning 50.7 percent of the votes in the South. Gegare, a Teamsters international vice president, had 12,181 votes, and Pope, president of Local 805 in New York, followed with 8,510 votes.
Although the election supervisor had not released a ballot count for the Central region Wednesday, Pope’s Web site reported Hoffa won that region as well. The Pope campaign, which is monitoring the count, reported Hoffa had 40,084 votes in the Central region, compared with 23,538 for Gegare and 12,983 for Pope.
Ballots from the Teamsters in the union’s Eastern, Western and Canadian regions are still being counted by the election supervisor’s office in Alexandria, Va. Partial election results posted by the Pope and Hoffa campaigns had Hoffa leading by more than 20,000 votes in the Eastern region late Wednesday night.
The Teamsters union sent out ballots to 1.4 million members in October. Voting ended Nov. 14, and the ballot count may be finished this week.
The dissident Teamsters for a Democratic Union, which backs Pope, said only 19 percent of Teamsters voted in the election, casting about 249,000 ballots. Only about 20 percent of the Teamsters membership voted in the 2006 election.