Primary Puts Pereira, Walker and Bradley on November Ballot

It looks like former Board Member Maria Pereira will be joining her running mates Ben Walker and Dennis Bradley on November’s ballot.

A week after the primary, after a tense 12-hour recount, the preliminary results revealed that Pereira narrowly beat out endorsed candidate Faith Harrison-Villegas by 28 votes.

Republican endorsed candidates John Weldon and Kevin McSpirit and Working Families Party (WFP) endorsed candidate Karen Jackson will be joining the trio on the ballot.

Walker, a Greenwich High School music teacher, has been a regular at BOE meeting since throwing his hat in the ring to replace John Bagley, who resigned last fall.

Bradley, an immigration and personal injury attorney who is also cross-endorsed by the WFP, is a relative newcomer, except for a state representative run as a petitioning candidate for the 128th District last year. 

While Pereira’s two running mates are fairly new on the scene, Pereira has long been involved in school board politics.

A staunch critic of charter schools and education reform, she won her first term on the BOE in 2009 but decided not to run for re-election in 2013.

Her first term was interrupted when the BOE voted in favor of a state takeover in 2011. She then sued the state, winning her seat back.

Pereira has been involved in other legal battles with the district.

Last year, Pereira was involved in a lawsuit against the district over the District Parent Advisory Council Executive Board’s dissolution due to allegations that the group unlawfully denied leadership roles to parents affiliated with other education organizations. That suit was later dropped.

One major platform that unites Pereira and her running mate Walker is a push for new leadership in the district.

“No offense to our current interim superintendent, but it is time to fill this position of leadership,” said Walker to the Connecticut Post.

As the Education Bridgeport! reported earlier, Pereira had a falling out with Superintendent Rabinowitz over Rabinowitz’s compromise with the Mayor on the city’s minimum budget requirement. Since then, she’s been calling for superintendent’s removal.

In case you’re looking for a refresher on some of the other highlights of Pereira’s tenure, here’s a quick list of what I’ve covered over the past few years:



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