Board of Education Chair Joe Larcheveque Thursday night rejected pleas from Republican Party operatives to seek another four-year term at the GOP convention in which candidates for school board, city sheriff and City Council were endorsed. Citing family commitments and frustration with school board dysfunction, Larcheveque opted out.
Republicans endorsed for school board sitting member John Weldon, 2015 petitioning mayoral candidate Chris Taylor and Black Rock realtor Diane Rello to four-year terms. They also endorsed to fill out the four-year term vacancy of Kevin McSpirit who was replaced by Weldon, per appointment by Mayor Joe Ganim, former board member Jim Carbone. This is a bizarre school board cycle because of the state law the City Attorney’s Office cited, and won a court challenge, for the mayor to fill school board vacancies if the board does not act within 30 days. See background here. Rello, say sources, may be just a placeholder until the GOP can figure out the number of candidates it may run this cycle.
Under state-mandated minority-party representation no party can hold more than six school board seats in Bridgeport. So if the Dems occupy six that leaves three others to the Republicans, the Connecticut Working Families Party or petitioning/independent candidacies.
In an unexpected move, Republicans placed on the ballot for city sheriff the GOP’s highest vote producer the past decade, three-time mayoral candidate Rick Torres. The party dumped Joe McClaine who GOP operatives say was an inactive participant in favor of Torres. Torres joins incumbent GOP sheriffs Mike Garret, the town chair, and Michael Moretti as the candidates. Democrats and Republicans, per city charter, are allowed three city sheriff positions for each party elected to two-year terms. They have the authority to serve legal papers within the city.
Democrats will endorse candidates Monday at Testo’s Restaurant.