BRIDGEPORT — Somewhere between last Christmas and New Years, just months after she reclaimed the city school board seat the state Supreme Court agreed was taken from her illegally for 14 months, Maria Pereira decided she would not see reelection.
“I just had been thinking about it for awhile,” Pereira said Monday after another school board meeting dominated as it often is by questions she raised. “It was my decision. It had nothing to do with anything external. It was a decision I made.”
Pereira repeatedly refused to say Monday why she decided not to run again but did say she notified the Connecticut Working Families Party, whose slate she ran on, of her decision last January.
“We agreed to keep it completely quiet,” said Pereira. And it was. The decision didn’t become public until the party held its annual meeting earlier this month and did not include Pereira, its most outspoken elected official, as one of its three school board candidates.
It is not the first surprise from Pereira. A parent concerned about the series of math teachers her daughter had been subjected to at Batalla School, Pereira shocked the Democratic machine in the city four years ago, by winning a school board seat, along with Sauda Baraka who had previously served on the board as a Republican. Two years later the party won a third seat when John Bagley was elected to the school board.
Although she won’t say what her future plans are, Pereira, said she is not going away and will stay active in the Working Families Party. In fact, she said she has been elected town chair for the city’s Working Family Party and has filed paperwork to that effect.