Update, Baraka has the votes
Citing her experience, incoming Board of Education member Andre Baker who ran on both the Democratic and Connecticut Working Families Party line says he’ll support Sauda Baraka for school board chair. The school board with five new members will select officers at an organizational meeting in December. Democrat Dave Hennessey has also expressed interest in the board chairmanship.
Some looked to the affable Baker as a compromise candidate for school board chair, but work demands operating funeral homes in Bridgeport and Norwalk caused him hesitation. Baraka was first elected to the school board as a Republican in 2005 and then reelected running on the Working Families Party line in 2009 and again on November 5th.
With the support of Baker and John Bagley, who was elected to the school board on the Working Families Party line in a special election last year, Baraka needs just two more votes to replace Ken Moales who’s not seeking a return as chair and would be hard-pressed to secure the five votes necessary even if he wanted it considering the new makeup of the board with the insurgent Democratic/Working Families Party coalition control.
Hennessey, a retired teacher, has strong alliances with leadership of the education union the Bridgeport Education Association. Baker, Hennessey and Howard Gardner won election this month on the Democratic line. Joe Larcheveque won a seat on the Republican line.
In addition to Moales, Democrats Jacqui Kelleher and Hernan Illingworth are also holdovers on the board.