Vallas to run for Lt. governor in Ill...

Vallas to run for Lt. governor in Illinois

Posted in the Trumbull Forum


Matawan, NJ

#1 Nov 8, 2013
Illinoisvallaspix Gov. Pat Quinn confirmed this afternoon that he has selected embattled Bridgeport Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas as his running mate for lieutenant governor in Illinois in 2014.

“I’ve known Paul Vallas for 30 years and he’s never been shy about fighting for education, reform and opportunities for working people,” Quinn said in a statement.“We have made great progress these last few years, but serious challenges remain and our mission is not yet accomplished. Paul is an independent problem solver with a proven record of reform. He will be a strong lieutenant governor for the common good.”

The news comes over a month after Vallas in a September interview with Hearst Connecticut Newspapers said,“I am going to keep this job till someone says I can’t.”

Vallas has been superintendent in Bridgeport since December 2011. In January the outgoing school board offered him a three year contract, but his tenure could end shortly after a new board with a majority of Vallas critics takes office next month.

Vallas is from Chicago and once made an unsuccessful bid for governor of Illinois. He also served as the Chicago Public Schools chief for six years followed by stints in Philadelphia and post-Katrina New Orleans. His wife, however, has always remained in Illinois.

In 2009, Vallas considered a run for governor again, but then decided against it.

Vallas was brought to Bridgeport by Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor who worked with Vallas in Haiti. His job was to come in and fix a school district with the worst test scores in the state and a multi-million budget short fall. The budget deficit was sealed but student achievement remains an ongoing issue.

Vallas also has met with opposition from some school board and community members who say he represents an effort to privatize education. That side’s success in Bridgeport’s Democratic primaries and this week’s general election was viewed as a referendum on Vallas and Mayor Bill Finch’s reform agenda.

His credentials to serve in the state were also attacked. The state Supreme Court is currently determining if state law was followed when Vallas received a waiver of a requirement that he hold a school administrators certificate.

In Bridgeport September’s Democratic primaries and this week’s general elections Vallas, who was not in the district Friday according to his office, said in a statement issued by Quinn that he was honored to join forces with the strongest reform governor in the country.

“Since taking the oath of office, Governor Pat Quinn has rescued the state of Illinois from the verge of fiscal and ethical disaster following decades of bipartisan corruption,” Vallas said.“This governor has been getting big things done since he got here. Unlike his predecessors, Governor Quinn tackled the hard issues and has made the right decisions to get Illinois back on track.”

“Together we will fight every day for working families and deliver the reform and change that Illinois deserves,” Vallas added.

Finch’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Andre Baker, one of the anti-Vallas candidates elected to the Bridgeport school board this week, said the superintendent has always indicated that the city was a temporary stop.

“Hey, more power to him,” Baker said.

Should Vallas decide to break his own contract it would avoid a potentially politically-heated battle in Bridgeport over whether to fire the superintendent and give him a pay-out or allow him to conclude his contract.

“We have slayed the dragon,” said Maria Pereira, an outgoing school board member who has become chair of the city’s Working Families Committee.

Although it remains unclear what exactly the announcement out of Illinois means for Vallas’ tenure in Bridgeport, Baker said he would expect it’s over.

Matawan, NJ

#2 Nov 8, 2013
“I would assume if he did something like this he would be leaving,” Baker said.“I know if that was me in that position … I would be on my way out of here. That’s a big thing to try and be lieutenant governor. You’d miss a lot of campaigning. You can’t be hanging around here messing around with the Board of Education.”

Baker added,“It makes you wonder,‘What does he want to d0?’ Does he want to be in the education system? He did at one time try to run for governor. What does Paul Vallas want to do?”

Pereira said it would be foolish at this point for the board to cut Vallas lose until the state Supreme Court rules. If they decide Vallas is not qualified, it will not cost the district a 1-year severence payment as stipulated in his contract. That said, she agreed the board should not allow Vallas to run the district while running for office. She said it will be up to the new board to finally start a new search for the district’s next superintendent, something she said should have been done months ago.

“It was very irresponsible for the board not to start the process,” said Pereira.

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#3 Nov 9, 2013
He should had never been hire by the city of Bridgeport. Money wasted and more corruption in Bridgeport.


Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#4 Nov 11, 2013
Am I the first One to wonder what kind of PENSION he's going to be walking-away with from Bridgeport?

And, if he DOES get one, you people better be doing a F*CK of a lot more intelligent VOTING in the next few elections.


Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#5 Nov 12, 2013
Am I the first One to wonder what kind of PENSION he's going to be walking-away with from Bridgeport?

And, if he DOES get one, you people better be doing a HECK of a lot more intelligent VOTING in the next few elections.

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