Bradley’s School Board Vacancy Scheduled For Monday Vote

Lee boots, council
John Marshall Lee is a fixture at City Council meetings. Will red boots walk him to school board seat?

Who’ll fill Dennis Bradley’s vacated seat on the Board of Education? The remaining eight school board members are expected to fill the slot Monday night among six applicants. The chosen one will fill out Bradley’s four-year term that expires in November so the replacement could be short lived.

Bradley was elected to the state senate last November.

The candidate cannot be a Democrat to fulfill minority party representation guidelines. Joe Sokolovic, who was elected in 2017, switched his affiliation from Republican to Democrat in October. That move has left the board with just two minority party members, Republicans John Weldon and Chris Taylor.

Michael Giannotti
Michael Giannotti supported Joe Ganim for mayor in 2015 then had a falling out.

John Marshall Lee, a regular OIB contributor on fiscal issues, John Scianna, a heating and air conditioning business owner and Joseph Lombard, assistant director of educational funding, training and support at Porter and Chester Institute in Stratford, are unaffiliated candidates.

Michael Giannotti, a former journalist who served briefly as public safety spokesperson for Mayor Joe Ganim, and John Rodriguez, Bradley’s Republican opponent for State Senate last year, are registered with the GOP.

LaMar Kennedy, a special education teacher in Waterbury, is a Libertarian.

Board interviews are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. at the Aquaculture School, 60 St. Stephens Road. The slot will be filled during the board’s regular meeting starting at 6:30.

Eight current school board members: Weldon, Taylor, Sokolovic, Maria Pereira, Ben Walker, Sybil Allen, Jessica Martinez, Hernan Illingworth.



    1. Our student population is only 13% White. The 2010 Census shows Bridgeport’s population is 22% White. Yet, 63% of the school board is White, 13% Black & 25% Hispanic.

      13% of our male student population is White, yet 50% of the school board is made up of White, male members.

      34% of our male student population is Black, yet we have ZERO Black, male school board members. Not one.

      48% of our male student population is Hispanic, yet we have one Hispanic, male school board member which equates to 13%.

      I recognize diversity of ethnicity/race isn’t the only important characteristic of a school board member, however there is significant National, State & Local debate of the importance of minority students having minority teachers, principals, and more in educating our students. Our elected representatives MUST reflect the diversity of the community they serve.

      There are two minority, male applicants. One ran against Dennis Bradley as the Republican Candidate in the 23rd District. He is the Chair of Bridge Academy Charter School which is on probation for abysmal performance.

      There is also a Waterbury school teacher who may be Black and graduated from the BPS.

      Unless these two candidates are really unprepared, I do not see myself voting for another White, male school board member.

      1. You racist. You left out the percentage of Portuguese students in the district; the number is too low to justify having one BOE member of Potuguese nationality on the Bridgeport BOE. JML, is Puerto Rican.

        1. You really are an idiot. Portuguese are of European descent, therefore, I am the lone White woman on the school board. Jessica Martinez is the only Hispanic woman, and Sybil Allen is the only Black woman.

          Someone referenced your need to take a bath which makes it more likely that you are the pig.

  1. Congratulations Janelle Newell, 12 from the Multicultural Magnet School in Bridgeport, who was crowned the CT Spelling Bee champion Saturday. For those that say nothing good comes out of Bridgeport or the Bridgeport school system, here you go.

    Congratulations young lady, continue to make your family, both nuclear and extended proud.

  2. And thanks to John Weldon, Jessica Martine, Hernan Illingworth, Chris Taylor,Sybil Allen and Senator Dennis Bradley, this student, her parents, her teachers and more will not be invited to our next regular school board meeting to be recognized for this amazing achievement.

    Only Ben Walker, Joseph Sokolovic and myself fought to keep recognitions on our agendas.

  3. Maria,the ethnic diversity,or lack there of,is an excellent place to start the fighting tomorrow night!..and if things calm down,bring up the spelling bee recognition point..

    1. Does anyone think that this will be a “legitimate” process? Give me a break. I’m really disappointed that some are part of the travesty and charade which gives the “Shameless Six” some cover for their payoff of Italian sausage a la Testa.

  4. Maria that statement was racist and gender bias. If Day agrees ,its racist. 🙂 Lets not forget they all were elected by Bridgeport’s population.

    I found your enmity toward while males and your pro charter school applicant inconsistent with your views on charter school and those involved 🙂

    Also I believe MLK dream was that one day people would be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.”

    Typical for a white women to try to end MLK dream. Day do you agree?

    Considering the BOE is responsible of a 200 plus million budget. I would say whatever color the person is financial back round is needed. #redboots. Wouldn’t you say people?

    Maria you get no point for that statement. 🙂

      1. Please define white? I find it confusing that people who are Spanish and decent from Spain are none white, yet Portuguese people and their decent are white. Considering they speak somewhat of the same language and are from the same peninsula, geographical location. JS Latina-ish 🙂

        PS is JML white 🙂

        1. Basically what I’m saying you’re “decent” is closer to Jessica Martine than Germany. So if you consider Jessica Latino, non-white, well then. 🙂

  5. Frank, who would that be? Who will the “shameless 6” vote for? Although I do agree with Maria, one should not vote according to the color of their skin. I see 2 people like Mike He is a very nice person, he has become too political. a former Democrat, now Republican- yeah brilliant move and supported Bob Keeley, Thats why Branford Resident Bobbie Walsh likes him. I do not see him as the candidate. Nobody mentioned John Marshall Lee. Although I do not agree with his politics, I find him to be probably the most qualified candidate. Articulate, intelligent, has been a mentor in the Bridgeport School system as well as his wife. An outspoken intelligent man could move the needle. I do not think a persons minority status will improve the Bridgeport school system. We have an African American in the number one position. I do not think things aren’t happening because of a lack of minority representation. Good luck to all of the candidates.
    I am surprised that Albert Benejan Grajales, Paula Romero and Chalia Robinson and Carmen Nieves did not apply.

    Chalia Robinson was an excellent candidate the first time around!!! If folks do not know her, it is too bad. A woman of color, intelligent, articulate a mom a working professional. She will have my vote if running for the BOE in November. She knows that!

    1. Black and Hispanic males are disproportionately labeled special ed., suspended, expelled, drop out of school, and perform the worst academically, yet there are those that don’t believe a Black/Hispanic male school board member can add insight and a valuable perspective on this school board. How interesting that there are those who don’t think these students have a right to school board members who can directly relate to them.

      It doesn’t matter how many liberal, white, males you put on the school board. The one thing they will never be is a Black/Hispanic male who can directly relate to Black/Hispanic students.

      Many people praised Bradley’s Bill on requiring diverse juries. Diversity is an incredibly important factor in understanding cultures and life experiences. And, yes, it is incredibly important in an urban school district.

      The days where every school board member was a White male are long gone. That was the past. A racially, ethnically, gender, inclusive school board is our future.

      They must also be intelligent, articulate, understand public education, and be passionate about this work.

    2. Hello Steven
      Call me and I will explain you why me and others we did run for this ‘’ election ‘’ , We want everyone finish the months they have , so we all know what to do .


  6. If anyone wants to maintain any credibility,they should walk away and stay away from the BOE Bozo selection @Monday night at Aquaculture. Anyone who participates is giving cover to an illegitimate process. SHAME.

  7. It is time that we start to put our kids first. We are in need of a diverse board of education. We need people who care about students opposed to bickering over personal issues.

  8. Obviously, Stevie A has not gotten the memo naming the individual selected by Ganim but only talking points.
    Once Steve gets the memo will be the first to know.

  9. PS. I just love the way it is simply eating him alive that I moved to Branford.
    Give it up Stevie. Get a life. Live a little.
    You might actually enjoy life for a change.

  10. Let’s see what happens. What will the Shameless Five(to be Six) do? is it possible that the Board will punt and let “Mayor” Ganim make the choice. Either way,I’m not attending this farce.


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