This website uses cookies.
Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: PATRICK KELLY,                         )           Protest Decision 2021 ESD 48

                                                                        )           Issued: January 26, 2021

Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-059-012121-FW



Patrick Kelly, member of and unaffiliated delegate candidate in Local Union 952, filed a pre-election protest pursuant to Article XIII, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 2020-2021 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”).  The protest contended that the Rules should permit him to incorporate a slogan in his name as printed on the ballot.


Election Supervisor representative Jeffrey Ellison investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Kelly was nominated as an independent candidate for delegate at Local Union 952’s delegate and alternate delegate nominations meeting held January 20, 2021.  The OES representative present at the nominations meeting denied Kelly’s request that his name appear on the ballot with a slogan.  This protest followed.


Article II, Section 10(b) of the Rules states that “[t]he names of all candidates for delegates and alternates shall be printed on the ballot.”  A candidate may appear by his/her formal name as given at birth (e.g., “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.”) or by a nickname, i.e., a familiar name given to a person instead of or in addition to the real name (e.g., “Indiana Jones”).


For candidates who are competing in the election as part of a slate, the same provision of the Rules just identified states that “[t]he names of all candidates of any slate shall be placed under the heading of the slate name or title as designated by the slate declaration form previously submitted to the Local Secretary-Treasurer.  The names of all other delegate and alternate delegate candidates shall be printed on the ballot in a column or columns under the heading “Independent Candidates.”  Protestor Kelly, because he is not part of a slate, will appear on the ballot under the Independent Candidates heading.


Where two or more candidates seek to compete in an election as part of a slate, they must form that slate in accordance with Article VIII of the Rules.  Under Section 1(b) of that article, slates are permitted but not required to choose a slate name, which if chosen will appear on the ballot above the listing of members of that slate.  Where slate members opt to name the slate, wide breadth is given in the selection of a slate name.  Generally, a slate may be identified with any designation unless the name selected specified or communicated incumbency, was obscene, or was too lengthy to appear on the ballot.  Davis, P115 (December 17, 1990).  The use of the local union number in a slate is permissible. Harrington, P159 (September 27, 1995).  The use of the name of the incumbent general president is also permissible.  Dietrich, P350 (February 5, 1996).  


The Rules do not permit one-candidate slates, even where a local is entitled to only one delegate.  Dunn, P226 (November 15, 1995).  Accordingly, the right the Rules accord a slate to adopt a name does not extend to an independent, unaffiliated candidate.


Protestor Kelly attempts to avoid these principles by incorporating a slogan into his name.  He seeks to appear on the ballot as “Patrick D. ‘Be Wise, Organize’ Kelly.”  He points to the business card he used when he was principal officer of Local Union 952 as evidence that he has been associated with the slogan.  The business card he provided our investigator listed his full name, Patrick D. Kelly, above the title of his office, Secretary Treasurer.  Beneath name and title was the slogan “Be Wise, Organize.”  He does not contend that “Be Wise, Organize” is his nickname, and we find it is not.  Because the ballot may permissibly identify candidates only by their names or nicknames, we hold that Kelly’s line on the ballot may not incorporate a slogan that is neither.


Kelly argues further that the decision not to permit him to include a slogan between his middle initial and his last name discriminates against him under Section 101(a)(1) of the LMRDA, 29 USC 411(a)(1), which guarantees to “[e]very member of a labor organization … equal rights and privileges within such organization to nominate candidates, to vote in elections or referendums of the labor organization, to attend membership meetings and to participate in the deliberations and voting upon the business of such meetings, subject to reasonable rules and regulations in such organization's constitution and bylaws.”  We find no statutory violation here because all candidates, whether members of a slate or independent, are barred from incorporating a slogan into their names as those names appear on the ballot.  Kelly’s additional contention that he is denied what he perceives as the advantage of a slate name also misses the mark.  He may have a slate name by becoming a slate member with one or more other candidates who appear on the ballot.


For the foregoing reasons, we DENY this protest.


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within two (2) working days of receipt of this decision.  Any party requesting a hearing must comply with the requirements of Article XIII, Section 2(i).  All parties are reminded that, absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely in any such appeal upon evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Supervisor.  Requests for a hearing shall be made in writing, shall specify the basis for the appeal, and shall be served upon:


Barbara Jones

Election Appeals Master


Copies of the request for hearing must be served upon the parties, as well as upon the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, all within the time prescribed above.  Service may be accomplished by email, using the “reply all” function on the email by which the party received this decision.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for hearing.


                                                                  Richard W. Mark

                                                                  Election Supervisor

cc:        Barbara Jones

            2021 ESD 48





Bradley T. Raymond, General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters


Edward Gleason


Patrick Szymanski


Will Bloom


Tom Geoghegan


Rob Colone


Barbara Harvey


Kevin Moore


F.C. “Chris” Silvera


Fred Zuckerman


Ken Paff

Teamsters for a Democratic Union

Patrick D. Kelly


Local Union 952


Michael Miller


Deborah Schaaf


Jeffrey Ellison