Bridgeport BOE Race Update: Democratic Town Committee Endorses Coates, Illingworth and Villegas

It looks like there are three more confirmed candidates seeking a Bridgeport Board of Education seat.

During last night’s heated Democratic Town Committee nomination convention, the DTC endorsed Hernan Illingworth, Kadisha Coates and Faith Harrison-Villegas.

The trio is running on incumbent Mayor Bill Finch’s slate, which amidst the cheers and jeers of a divided crowd, beat out former Mayor Joe Ganim and his slate by a slim eight-vote margin (49-41).

Both Illingworth and Coates are incumbents, though this will be Coates’ first time facing the voters. She was appointed to replace John Bagley when he abruptly resigned last November. 

The sole non-incumbent on the slate, Faith Villegas, is no stranger to Bridgeport BOE politics. A program manager for the Bridgeport Public Education Fund and former recording secretary for the District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC), she spoke out against the abuses of the DPAC Executive Board when they began kicking parent volunteers out of leadership positions.

While the focus of the room (and probably the city) is on the contentious mayoral race, the DTC BOE endorsements could have a major impact on who controls city schools.

As reported two weeks ago, former BOE member Maria Pereira has already thrown her hat into the race, running on Ganim’s slate.

Without the Democratic endorsement, Pereira and her running mates, Ben Walker and Dennis Bradley, will have to collect around 1,900 petition signatures to appear on September’s primary ballot.



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