BOE Attorney: New Bridgeport Board Member Must be Registered Working Families Party Member

Bridgeport Board of Education Attorney Thomas Mooney has advised the board that the vacancy left by John Bagley must be filled by a member of the Working Families Party based on the state’s minority representation statute.

There’s one gigantic problem with that: Who exactly in Bridgeport is a member of the Working Families party?

As reported by Lennie Grimaldi at Only in Bridgeport, there are only four Bridgeport residents currently registered with the Working Families Party, according to Registrar of Voters Sandi Ayala.

While there has been speculation that another minority party—for example the GOP— could take the seat, Baraka, disagreed.

“At this time, this moment, they [the candidate] have to be a registered Working Families Party member,” said Baraka during the meeting.

This, however, does not mean that only the four people currently registered with the Working Families Party are eligible for the seat.

According to the Secretary of the State’s website, while it takes three months for a person already registered with a party to switch their affiliation, this waiting period does not apply when switching from unaffiliated.

Someone currently unaffiliated with a party could register as a member of the Working Families Party merely to win the vacant seat.

At the very least, it’s safe to say that former board member Maria Pereira (a registered Democrat) is out of the running as she rescinded her membership with the Working Families Party over the governor’s race back in March. I think her statement is pretty clear:

“Therefore, in light of your support of the re-election of Governor Malloy, I cannot be associated with or be a part of the Working Families Party in any way.

Please consider this letter my formal resignation from the Connecticut Working Families State Committee effective immediately.”

There is still the question of other past candidates, like Eric Alicea, who ran last November on the Working Families Party ticket. Does he still count as a member of the Working Families Party?

One thing is certain: The board only has 30 days from the date of Bagley’s resignation letter to fill the vacancy. That’s less than a month to figure all this out.



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