Basketball Legend John Bagley Endorsed By Working Families Party For School Board Seat

John Bagley
John Bagley when he played for the Celtics.

Bridgeport hoop star John “Bags” Bagley is one of two candidates nominated by Connecticut’s Working Families Party for the September 4 special election to fill four elected positions on the Board of Education. The other WFP candidate Barbara Pouchet has been active in city education issues. Jacqui Kelleher, Hernan Illingworth and Ken Moales, current members of the state-appointed school board, are the endorsed Democrats. The Republican candidates are husband-wife Wayne Hayes and Evelyn Hayes and ex Republican Registrar of Voters Joe Borges. The Connecticut Supreme Court ordered a special election after it invalidated state control of city schools. One of the four school board positions on the ballot is reserved for minority party representation. The GOP and WFP candidates will fight it out for that spot. From WFP:

Today the Connecticut Working Families Party announced its nomination of John Bagley and Barbara Pouchet for Bridgeport Board of Education.

Both Bagley and Pouchet grew up in Bridgeport and are products of the city’s public education system. Both attended Waltersville elementary school and East Side Middle School, and have remained engaged in the Bridgeport community.

Both candidates started from modest means, but have become Bridgeport success stories. John Bagley attended Boston College before an 11-year career with the NBA. He has remained engaged in the Bridgeport community, founding the Bagley-Walden Foundation, which uses sports and entertainment to empower young people. “We need to aspire to inspire. We have every reason to expect success for Bridgeport’s students, and I’m in this campaign because I won’t give up on them,” said John Bagley.

Barbara Pouchet grew up in the Father Panik Village housing project, and was the middle of five children. She attended Virginia Tech, and is currently a licensed insurance professional. As a parent of a Bridgeport public school student, she has frequently engaged the school board as a concerned parent and citizen.

“Barbara Pouchet and John Bagley know first hand what Bridgeport families deserve from our schools.” said Lindsay Farrell, Executive Director of the Connecticut Working Families Party. “Both are products of Bridgeport’s public school system, and they are proof that the system can succeed. John and Barbara believe in Bridgeport’s potential and they will stand up for working families in Bridgeport.”

“Barbara and John are the right choices for School Board,” said Emeline Bravo-Blackwood, a lifelong activist and community leader in Bridgeport and WFP board member. “They came out of our local school system, and they’re still engaged in the success of our children. They’ll stand up for working families and turn around our schools so they work for all Bridgeport’s children.”

In 2009 the Working Families Party elected Maria Pereira and Sauda Baraka to the Bridgeport Board of Education. They earned a reputation for demanding transparency and accountability from the Superintendent. Both opposed the state takeover of the Board of Education, which was later ruled illegal. Both will resume their positions on the Board of Ed after the special election.

The Working Families Party is an independent grassroots party that fights for the 99%. WFP evaluates the records of all the candidates and supports only those with a proven track record of standing up for working-class and middle-class families on issues like good jobs, affordable healthcare, fair taxes and quality schools.



  1. The sad part of this is this will probably cause the machine to work even harder against the Working Families Party.
    A well-known, well-respected African American who is not beholden to the machine!!!
    That is viewed as a real threat, not just for this election but for the long term.

  2. The machine only rules with the consent of the governed. What is wrong with making it have to work for power, and what is wrong for others to challenge it?

  3. Callahan had too much Mike’s Hard Lemonade on the 4th!
    The sad part is we have what appears to be a bona fide candidate who the party would never even consider because they do not think he is under their control.
    The positive part for Bridgeport is here is a new face on the political scene and may provide a new leader within the African American community.
    As to a fight? Bring it, Mo Fo, bring it on!!!


Leave a Reply