Union Officials Abandon Senior Member's Run For Congress

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) - The United Auto Workers have abandoned former union official and congressional candidate Warren Davis, rescinding the union's endorsement of his candidacy.

Union leaders meeting at their annual convention here voted Friday to rescind the union's endorsement of Davis' candidacy despite the fact that he has been an official in the union for nearly 20 years.

The union also stripped Davis of his leadership post and voted to eliminate UAW Region 2, where Davis was director.

Davis did not return phone calls requesting comment on the union decisions.

Davis had said he would step down from his post at Region 2 -- which covered eastern Ohio and parts of western Pennsylvania and West Virginia -- so he could run as an independent for the congressional seat now held by convicted U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr.

Rich Vadovsky was considered to be his successor. But during the regional caucuses on Wednesday, Davis unexpectedly decided to run for re-election, and Vadovsky withdrew. Vadovsky encouraged delegates to throw their support for Davis, which they did.

Some of the delegates were unhappy with the vote and Davis's decision and took their unhappiness to the union leadership.

"In any organization, a person's word is their bond," UAW spokesman Paul Krell said.

All of Ohio is now represented by UAW Region 2B under the leadership of Lloyd Mahaffey.

William Binning, political science professor at Youngstown State University, said the union's about-face probably marks the end of Davis' congressional campaign.

"If he doesn't have the UAW behind him, and he doesn't have the reach to other unions, he is simply another name on the ballot," Binning said. "I didn't see him as being a significant factor (in the election) unless there was some major union financial support behind him."

Other candidates in the 17th District race are Democrat Tim Ryan, Republican Ann Womer Benjamin, and Traficant, who is running as an independent.

Traficant was convicted in April of 10 counts of bribery and racketeering, His sentencing is scheduled for June 27, but he has requested a 60-day delay.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)