Filling The Void For Andre Baker’s School Board Seat

In January school board member Andre Baker is expected to receive the oath of office to replace the retiring Don Clemons in Connecticut’s 124th State House seat. Baker has not announced definitively when he will resign from the Board of Education. Initially, he said he would resign right after the November election, but might he stay on until the organizational meeting of the school board in December to choose officers?

Here’s what the City Charter states about filling a school board vacancy:

If a vacancy arises for any reason in the membership of the Board of Education, the remaining members shall elect a new member to serve for the balance of the term vacated. The person so elected shall be a resident and elector and a member of the same political party as the member vacating such office.

Each December the school board conducts an organizational meeting chaired by the mayor to select various officers. Sauda Baraka, elected on the Connecticut Working Families Party line, is the current chair of the school board. Baraka generally votes in a bloc with the board’s other WFP member John Bagley and Democrat Howard Gardner.

Democrats Baker and Dave Hennessey were elected last year with Gardner defeating the three Democratic-endorsed candidates in a primary. Baker and Hennessey, a retired teacher, have shown some independence from the initial election coalition. Baker, in particular, has drawn the wrath of some previous supporters for backing Mayor Bill Finch’s proposal to build a new school to replace Harding High on environmentally challenged property owned by General Electric on Boston Avenue.

Joe Larcheveque is the lone Republican on the school board. Ken Moales, Hernan Illingworth and Jacqui Kelleher are the other three Democrats filling out the nine-member education body.

Moales was a lightning rod when he served as chair prior to the shift in power that elevated Baraka to the leadership role last December.

Baker could stay on to influence the election of officers come December. Baker won the August 12 Democratic primary over party-endorsed Ernie Newton.

What candidates are in the mix to replace Baker?



  1. Bridgeport parents, now is the time to suggest a name for a new Democrat for the BOE when Andre Baker moves to the Legislature. The BOE is losing a thinker and a parent who makes good decisions.

    1. Andre Baker is NOT a Bridgeport Public School parent, but what would one expect from an individual who makes financial contributions to ConnCAN or “Can CON.” I have not seen you attend a single BBOE meeting since Andre Baker joined the BBOE.


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